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06 November 2019
By LOTTE REITER
A group of Wimmera community contributors will have a chance to pay their generosity forward when their portraits go on exhibition in Horsham in December.
Arkona artist Angela Walker is painting portraits of 10 people she believes are making a difference through occupation or volunteering efforts.
From police officers and teachers to Order of Australia Medal recipients, their faces and stories have been the subject of a nine-month-long project that will come to fruition at a Horsham Redrock Books and Gallery exhibit.
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A nurse since she was 16, Mrs Walker has helped other people for most of her life and wanted to acknowledge other people’s unsung generosity.
And for the exhibition, both she and the subjects of her work will open their hearts again, with half of each painting’s sale proceeds going to a charity or organisation of the subject’s choice.
Mrs Walker, who started painting about six years ago, said the project idea came to her about nine months ago and she had been developing it ever since.
She said it was great to see her portrait subjects choose a range of different charitable causes, including the McGrath Foundation, Salvation Army and regional cancer support centres.
Choice of charity
“I don’t know why, but I just had this feeling that I needed to paint pictures of people who contributed to the community through vocation or volunteering,” she said.
“For the people I’ve chosen, some of them I know vaguely, others I’ve heard of as people who are contributors and others have been recommended.
“But this is only a small component of people who actually give to the community. It’s really just a snapshot.”
A few of the people involved include Horsham Rural City councillor and Holy Trinity Lutheran College teacher Alethea Gulvin, Member for Lowan Emma Kealy and Order of Australia medallist and Horsham Arts Council life member Jan Morris.
Mrs Morris said she had chosen for her portrait’s proceeds to be given to community singing group Voices of the Wimmera, of which she has been a member for almost two years.
She admitted she was unsure of why someone would ‘want a painting of my face’, but said it was humbling to be involved and have the chance to give back to a deserving charity.
“That’s what attracted me to it,” she said.
“Voices of the Wimmera is an all-sorts group. We love our singing – I know in my husband’s case he really loves it.
“It’s for people who need an outlet for singing, but there’s no pressure on any payment.
“If people feel like leaving a small donation they can. But we still have to pay to use the CWA Hall.
“So, I thought, if I raise any money, that’s where I would want it to go. And I really like Angela, she’s really enjoying her art.”
Mrs Walker said each portrait involved painting three to four layers of oil paint, resulting in about 24 hours of total working time for each piece.
She said the artworks would likely be exhibited for one month from December 4 for people to view or purchase.
The entire November 6, 2019 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!