A new five-metre curved bench seat has been installed in Ocean Grove Park as part of a collaboration between genU, the Ocean Grove Park Committee and art’sKool.
The bench seat features artwork inspired by a collection of 30 vibrant paintings created by a diverse group of community members including adults, teens, and genU artists with disability. The artists drew inspiration from the surrounding flora and fauna and life in Ocean Grove.
The seat has unique a gap in the centre of the seat so it’s wheelchair-accessible, allowing individuals in wheelchairs to sit alongside their friends and be part of conversations.
The Ocean Grove ‘Art in the Park’ project aimed to bring community members together to promote and celebrate community, inclusion and diversity through the creation of an art installation to enhance and contribute to the Ocean Grove Park.
There was significant input from a number of community members, genU Bellarine Connections participants, and other partners towards planning the eventual piece of art furniture.
A series of community art workshops took place where genU Bellarine Connections participants came together with other community members to create a series of art works. These designs became the inspiration for the finished seat.
“Projects such as these are important to community life, to community inclusion and to creating opportunities where community can come together to achieve great things,” said Natasha Williams, genU Executive Director Service Development and Partnerships.
“The Ocean Grove Park Committee has been incredibly welcoming and generous to genU Bellarine Connections.
“This is a great way to highlight the wonderful ability of our participants and the amazing things that community can do when they come together as one,”
Over 70 guests attended an official launch of the bench seat and celebration of the culmination of this ‘Art in the Park’ project on Monday 29 May 2023.
The event was hosted by genU, the Ocean Grove Park Committee and art’sKool. The official welcome ribbon was cut by Alison Marchant, Member for Bellarine and Matthew Hassett, with Ryan Schmidkte the first to test out the new wheelchair space.