The OC Art Space provides a welcoming, encouraging environment for participants to learn creative forms of self-expression. Living with intellectual and developmental disabilities can feel isolating, especially when your natural type of communication isn’t widely understood. That’s why support staff Renate, Rose, Michelle and Val have worked to build a strong foundation at OC Connections for participants to connect with others, release their emotions, and engage in whichever artistic medium their heart’s desire.

Outside of OC Connections, the Arts Team are always looking for opportunities to connect and share our participants’ experiences with the wider community. Recently, several OC participants have had their works of art showcased in the ‘Expression’ gallery at Cardinia Cultural Centre – an excellent space to show the inspiration and determination that’s palpable in our art sessions.

‘Expression’ is all about spotlighting the incredible talents of artists living with disability, and exploring the different ways that they communicate and express themselves. The exhibition has been open since the beginning of August and our participants loved seeing their pieces on display, walking the halls of Cardinia’s gallery with a sense of pride.

Anna, Peter and Mandy all submitted artworks using different mediums – Mandy’s mosaic piece, “What Lies Beneath”, shows her keen eye for detail and colour. Peter chose watercolour for his work “In my Mind’s Eye”, finished with bold, determined applications of black marker. Anna’s use of oil pastels and contrasting colour in “People in my Dreams” show confidence and patience in her medium.

Several other participants have their beautiful work on display:

It’s been heartwarming to see the outpour of support from the community, with many expressing how impressed they are with the final pieces and the guidance of our creative leaders. Thank you to the entire Arts Team for uplifting our talented artists and creating opportunities for participants to share their stories, connect with the broader community, and grow their confidence.

You still have time to see “Expression” before the exhibition closes on Sunday the 24th of September. Don’t miss out!