Art exhibition supports bushfire appeal

An art exhibition held at Willetton Uniting Church in February has raised over $1 500 for the Uniting Church in Australia National Disaster Relief Fund, supporting those impacted by bushfires around the country. Willemina Foeken, artist and member of Willetton Uniting Church, held the exhibition in February, with a second one to be held from Sunday 8 to Thursday 19 March, at the Diamond and Jewellery Centres of Australia (DJCA), 97c Flora Tce, North Beach, Perth.

Now retired, Willemina previously worked as a school art teacher. These days, she still teaches art, but to small groups of up to six people in her home studio. She has been passionate about drawing her whole life, and inspired by her environment.

“I’m always inspired by my surroundings, my environment,” she said. “That can be bush, that can be still life. It might be because I’ve come back from the markets and I’ve got a whole pile of vegetables and I think ‘oh wow look at those colours, aren’t they just gorgeous’. It could be people.

“The subject matter is almost anything, and it’s usually because it’s been transformed by light or something. It’s a really lovely thing the way light does that, it connects all these different objects together.”

Over the years, Willemina has produced loads of art, which partly led her to holding this exhibition. She also has seen the news of the devastating bushfires, and felt this was one way she could  help. Sixty percent of sales has been donated to the Disaster Relief Fund.

“Everybody’s been very touched by these fires. They’ve been really horrendous, especially in the eastern states. You look at this and think ‘wow I wish I could just do something’.

“I have a huge amount of work, so why not do this? I put 52 framed paintings into this exhibition, and you wouldn’t know looking at my house inside, my walls are still chock-a-block full of work.

“I’ve still got stacks and the benefit might as well go to the fire relief, and when it goes through the Uniting Church, I know it’ll get there.”

To donate to the appeal, visit assembly.uca.org.au/national-disaster-relief-fund.

Heather Dowling

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