Rags to Riches Exhibition
Featuring the Tepees of Hope
Ravensthorpe Hall was the perfect venue to host Ravensthorpe Regional Arts Councils contribution to the Ravensthorpe Wildflower Show. From the 12th to the 22nd of September, Rags to Riches attracted almost 700 people! The 26 Rag Art entries covered a very broad artistic interpretation. Entries included Rag Dolls by Ravensthorpe's Year 2 and 3 students, cushions, wearable items, edible items, hanging items, growing items, mats, artist's interpretations and artistic creations, all with great stories behind them.
Entrants paired their creations with photos and stories, descriptions and meanings. Some were funny, and some were very heartfelt including life stories. Most know that many hours and care goes into an artistic creation. Whether it is a cake you baked or a garden you grew from seed, it takes persistence, determination, time, reason and passion to bring an idea to life. Rags to Riches was a showcase of this. By taking a 'horrible old shed rag' (someone else's words, not mine) and turning it into a usable or showable piece, you have overcome the stigma of a throwaway society, you have accomplished a goal, you feel a sense of belonging, you have turned Rags into Riches.
With so many fanciful and quality entries, the dread of judgement loomed. There was good prize money up for grabs, a prize pool of over $1700.00 and the competition was stiff. Two team members of Country Arts WA, Doone and Tegan happened to be visiting our Shire for the delivery of an Arts Funding Forum and they were happy to take on the role of impartial judge. We congratulate the winners and thank all entrants for supporting the Ravensthorpe Regional Arts Council. What a fabulous supportive community we live in.
Thank you equally to the kind sponsors of Rags to Riches, Darrell Panizza of WFI (Wesfarmers General Insurance Ltd), and Kyle Forsyth of South Coastal Agencies - Landmark Ravensthorpe.
Featured in the exhibition was the large scale mystery community art project, the Tepees of Hope. This project asked community members to donate a once-loved piece of fabric that would be sewn into a large scale mystery masterpiece. Over 200 volunteer hours went into the construction of this project. After the initial concept, the wood frame was sourced, measured and cut, followed by the measuring and sewing of the calico liner, the fabric mosaic construction and sewing of the 18 tepee panels, constriction of each tepee, then the final touches.
A Tepee Sew-A-Thon was held at the Hopetoun Community Centre where volunteers encouraged and helped each other, gave each other sewing tips, and laughed amongst each other when someone sewed something back-to-front by mistake. The project came to life and it was a very enjoyable weekend. The Hopetoun Community Centre was filled with great feelings of community spirit and belonging, not to mention cotton and fabric scraps.
Life is not over for the Tepees of Hope, this is only the beginning. Thoughts and feelings have been scribed on the inside liner of the Tepees, as per poetic instruction, and for a little while they will be featured at the Hopetoun Community Centre. So watch this space because you never know where they might turn up next!
Rags to Riches;
Ravensthorpe Regional Arts Council;
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Photo credits; Sue Leighton and Kirsty Duffy.
Ravensthorpe Regional Arts Council is supported by the Departments of Culture and the Arts and Regional Development, Royalties for Regions and Country Arts WA.
Ravensthorpe Regional Arts Council receives core funding from Country Arts WA, which receives funding from the State Government through the Department of Culture and the Arts and Lotterywest.