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Pandemic ‘words’ sought for exhibit

The organiser of an exhibition featuring experiences of Victorians during the coronavirus pandemic is seeking community submissions from across the state, including the Wimmera, Mallee and Grampians.

Josh Maher of Castlemaine is developing the 2020words project, which explores people’s thoughts, stories and observations – whether happy, sad, strange, surprising or funny.

He said the submission could reflect a moment or a memory, something that was overheard or seen, felt or thought. It could be a poem or prose, a single sentence or a single word.

He added the project was designed to capture what had been a unique moment in time and recognise the state’s healthcare workers.

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Mr Maher said a selection of the best pieces would be on exhibition in the new year with the aim of raising money for a tribute to the critical efforts of people working on the pandemic’s frontline. Public votes will select the exhibition’s most striking piece.

“Coronavirus has turned our world upside down,” Mr Maher said.

“2020words is a way to remember this unprecedented year – the good and the bad, the profound and the mundane, the toilet-paper and the masks.

“We’ve seen so much more than the spread and impact of the virus itself. There’s been selflessness and selfishness, generosity and humour, anger and sadness, and a bit of ‘crazy’. 

“There’s been great leadership and regrettable decisions, sourdough bake-offs and Zoom calls. I hope this project creates something of a time capsule and provides a small creative and cathartic release for us all – especially those still stuck at home.”

Mr Maher has a strong connection with western Victoria and the Wimmera through his work and encouraged people from across the region to be part of the project.

“The pandemic has affected people differently and the Wimmera community is as big a part of any of this,” he said.

“Obviously circumstances will determine how this exhibition can be presented and there is much to work out. But I would love for it to be physically open to the public and on show or perhaps even eventually be able to tour across the state. But it might be restricted in the short term to an online exhibition. It will obviously depend on the pandemic situation and restrictions in the new year.

“In a year to forget, let’s leave some words to remember.”

Mr Maher said people could send contributions of no more than 50 words to 2020words., with a short explanation of the submission and contact details.  

He said people could visit website for more information.

The entire October 7, 2020 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!