Some of Wollongong’s most disadvantaged have given back to the community in a unique and creative way with their artwork and a colourful garden now permanent fixtures in Globe Lane.
Artist Richard Lee co-ordinated the two month project with the help of Wollongong City Council and Wollongong Art Gallery and said many of the participants experienced personal growth.
“In the moments when we’re working together they’re for one thing happy and the other is working constructively on something and talking positively,” he said.
The result a 10-metre-long mural by the city’s homeless and others who are disadvantaged. It winds around existing walls in the lane with images of distinct Illawarra wildlife, including the elusive northern suburbs’ panther.
Mr Lee said the paintings also tell a story about the participants, shedding light on how some came to be homeless and what it’s like.
“It puts them in the realm of people,” he said. “It’s not a form of therapy or it’s not about them being a victim but about them being a proactive participant in society and life.”
Mr Lee welcomed more sectors of the community to assist in projects like these – either with financial or practical support – as he has seen first-hand the positive impact it has on the individuals involved.