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Expecting Something? is Polyglot’s new creative program for young mothers to be in the Latrobe Valley region. With one year completed and one to go, the artists have developed a close relationship with a number of groups of women, as well as important knowledge about how to work with this target group. Using visual art as the foundation of a set of weekly workshops, the women create objects for their babies, discuss pithy matters and record aspects of their pregnancy.
The fascinating process has been documented in an enormous log of recorded conversation, full-scale visual outlines of the women’s changing bodies, photography and, most importantly, a very actively used facebook page. Small communities have been developed around the project and the women have strengthened their potential parenting as an outcome of conversations and reflection that may not have happened otherwise.
Expecting Something?, to date has been a very successful intervention for vulnerable parents addressing social isolation and poor parent-child relationships. It seeks to engage young mothers at this crucial time in their lives and assist in breaking negative cycles which become entrenched in families, generations and townships in the area.
So far, so good. Our first group of women have had their babies and are continuing with the program as young mothers. New pregnant women are joining, and, though we face daily unexpected challenges with the project, the program now has a face in the community – people know about it!
One of the projects’ most innovative initiatives is ‘the gift process’. Recognising that women who are most at risk will never attend a workshop process, for a myriad of reasons, the artists have designed a small craft pack that is ‘gifted’ to women registering their pregnancy at the Latrobe Regional Hospital. Once assembled, they are asked to photograph it and message it to the project phone, with the incentive of receiving another gift. The gift process starts in early 2013 so we are excited to see if we can develop some conversations with women using their phones as the portal to communication.
At the conclusion of the project this year, an artwork will be created that makes a mark on the landscape of Morwell. The recordings will be edited to form small radio segments and an exhibition will be mounted at the Latrobe Regional Gallery in conjunction with a special season of Polyglot’s How High the Sky, a new interactive work for babies under 12 months.
Expecting Something? is directed by Jessica Wilson in collaboration with Lis Blake who is managing the project. Sound artists Madeline Flyn and Tim Humphreys will this year be joined by visual artist Jordan Crugnale. The regular input of this innovative group of mid-career artists has generated a strong project and, we hope, a lasting legacy in the Latrobe Valley.
Are you nearly a mum, or already a mum and nearly a mother of more?
Pregnant and under 25 years old?
Living in or around CHURCHILL, MORWELL, MOE or TRARALGON?
If this is you, join us for these FREE creative workshops.
Expecting Something? is a get-together where you will meet people just like you.
- Be supported at this important time
- Be inspired and learn new skills
- Record your pregnancy
- Make art to take home for you and your new baby
- Make friends
- Laugh, talk and have fun
Morwell: St Luke's Church Hall, Thursdays 10 am to 12.30 pm
Traralgon: Traralgon East Community Centre, Thursdays 2 pm to 4.30 pm
Workshops start: 14th February 2013!
when you can try out belly casting or make a mould of your bubba’s feet or hands.
New members welcome!
Want to know more or join us?
www.facebook.com/expectingsomething and leave us a message
or contact Lis on:
0451 081 705 (call or SMS)
DROP-INS WELCOME | HOME PICK-UPS ARRANGED | CHILDREN WELCOME
Expecting Something? is generously supported by the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts, as well by the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust, Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation and the Ian Potter Foundation.