This article relates to the spring launch of Urban Campfire, an exhibition of artworks by artists from the City of Yarra, which transforms the Justice Centre into a gallery and provides local artists with an opportunity to display their works. The launch was presented by the Neighbourhood Justice Centre and Belgium Avenue Neighbourhood House.
Below is a reflection from Joseph Krelle, one of the lucky artists to showcase his work in this exhibition.
NJC address: 241 Wellington St, Collingwood VIC
When I had my ‘Colours Of Aspergers’ exhibition on at the Brunswick Foodstore Cafe in Weston Street, Brunswick this year, a woman named Laila Costa enquired if I would like to have my paintings hanging up at the Neighbourhood Justice Centre (NJC) in Collingwood as part of the Urban Campfire program. At the NJC they have paintings hanging there for six months at a time. Laila Costa is the curator of the art program and the Urban Campfire exhibition.
This was a fantastic opportunity to have my six pieces of artwork on display at the Urban Campfire program.
The paintings are hanging up so people can sit down and look at the paintings if they pop in for a look, or if they are working there, or if in very stressful times they are at court at the NJC. Looking at the paintings on the wall can be a very soothing and calming experience and help these people through very stressful times.
At the Urban Campfire exhibition launch the retiring Chief Magistrate, Judge Peter Lauriston was there; as well as a number of other people involved in the legal profession. I went along to the Urban Campfire exhibition launch with my parents, and my support coordinator Eve. Eve was instrumental in being able to get my six pieces of artwork displayed at the Urban Campfire exhibition. Before the exhibition, Eve, my mother, and I met Laila at her art studio in Brunswick; and Laila selected six pieces of my artwork for display. She chose two of my line drawings and also four animal drawings. Four of my big paintings are on display in the NJC foyer and my other two paintings are hanging up in a consulting room on the third floor.
People in the general community are more than welcome to come along and have a look at the paintings within the next six months (so by March/April 2020).
A delicious lunch was provided on the day of the launch. There were several people involved and in attendance at the Urban Campfire exhibition launch, including: artists and their family members; NJC staff; and local neighbourhood houses.
Thank you to Laila and NJC for this wonderful opportunity!
The following is a reflection written by Joseph's mum, Loretta:
I had visited the NJC several years ago as part of a conference site visit and I was impressed then by the concept of how the NJC works and the aim to develop it as a more calming and approachable environment for people visiting the centre for a range of reasons.
I think that hanging art at the centre is a wonderful way of achieving this goal - and it’s wonderful that Joseph has been able to be part of this . As you can see from the photos below, he had had a wonderful time and was thrilled to see his art on the walls - as we were.
Once again, Eve was crucial support in getting this happening with Laila.
Laila saw Joseph’s work hanging in the Brunswick Food Store when he had his exhibition there - without the exhibition which Eve organised, Laila would never have seen or known about his work. Then Eve helped organise meeting up with Laila to choose the art for the Urban Campfires showing.