Since 1984, Arts Project Australia has operated a unique studio-workshop program. Sessions operate six days per week and are open to any interested person with an intellectual disability. The only criterion for people attending is that they choose to do so and the program readily accommodates a diverse range of skills and abilities. Our Recreation Program runs on Saturday from 10.00am – 12.00pm.
Here art is not ‘taught’. Instead, people are encouraged to find their own artistic voice and to pursue themes of personal interest and meaning. Even where individuals produce work of differing styles or subjects, such as scribbling or figurative imagery, the works retain identifiable characteristics that are consistent and clearly attributable to a particular artist, over time becoming recognisable as a signature.
The aim of the program is to assist individuals to become not only as independent as possible in their work, but to support them to reach a deep engagement with, and enjoyment of, the artistic process. One of the most essential tools in achieving this is the skill of the staff-artists in being able to develop close working relationships with the participants, often over many years, and to foster each person’s individual vision.
Staff-artists will offer encouragement, advice and assistance where necessary. Intervention is kept to a minimum and there is a strong respect for the autonomy of each artist and their work.