The tribute to Centrepieces given by one of its volunteers at the AGM on 22 June.
My imagination ran dry: the shit had hit the fan, and there were no Disney animals to help me clean up. Finally, the pressures became too much, depression took over; my life had changed faster than I could cope with and this led to a breakdown and a short stay in Rohampton Mental Hospital. In my week there, unable to talk about how I was feeling, I started to draw.
I knew that I couldn’t cope with a regular job, and after numerous failed attempts to find a place for myself and my art in an area where it seemed there wasn’t much interest, I was introduced to Centrepieces.
I met Geoff Norris and Dawn Tomlin in their grotto-like office, where my manic firework display of enthusiasm was met with reserve and apprehension, but as always, they were desperate for volunteers and were happy to take on any lunatic.
I have to admit, I came in like a bit of a Tasmanian Devil, but I had found my tribe and rather than made to feel like an outsider, I was guided, encouraged and sometimes reprimanded, until I was able to offer a more harmonious contribution.
Through Centrepieces, I have found an extended family with a common goal, to keep art in the community alive, to show the importance that it brings to people, as a form of communication, and freedom of expression.