Deanna Fear and Jessica Frawley pose in front of cut-out silhouettes of their former pregnant selves at the Morwell railway underpass. Deanna Fear was a participant in the young mums’ program. She and others are sticking up photos of baby footprints, including her son Adriayn Kincaid’s to celebrate the culmination. photograph bryan petts-jones
Hundreds of tiny footprints will be scattered across Morwell as part of an exhibition celebrating the culmination of a young mums’ program in Latrobe Valley.
Children’s theatre group Polyglot has hosted weekly craft and chat sessions in the Valley since June last year, with attendees beginning as pregnant women and becoming mums.
To celebrate the end of the program Polyglot has created an outdoor installation as well as an exhibition at Latrobe Regional Gallery, which will also host interactive theatre performances for babies.
Polyglot outreach artist Lis Blake said mums from across Morwell, Moe, Traralgon and Warragul would be able to find their children’s footprints hidden in areas of the town’s centre, using maps from certain shops and the gallery.
“We took 60 prints of babies feet at child-care centres and maternal services and the original prints will be framed in the gallery, with photo copies stuck up in different places in Morwell,” Ms Blake said.
“We have also painted the railway (underpass) bright yellow and there are collages that the women created, so there are lots of pregnant shapes.
“The installation was designed basically to reclaim Morwell for mums and babies and families.”
Ms Blake said pregnancy and motherhood was a very “fragile, rich and important time” and she hoped the exhibition and installation captured that.
Participant Deanna Fear, who attended since the first session when she was 20 weeks pregnant to now with son Adriayn Kincaid almost one year-old, said the program helped her to make friends and share feelings.
“When I was pregnant I lost a lot of friends, so I thought it would be a good way to meet people,” Ms Fear said.
“I’ve got a couple of really good friendships from it.
“It gave me a place to vent – happy, angry, sad – any feelings and get advice from people who had kids and share pregnancy stories with others.”
Mentor and workshop manager Claire Van Der Velden said the program had always included art, as well as cooking and aimed to help women to grow and share their creativity.
“We started it to reach out to pregnant women in Latrobe Valley and give them a voice, allow them to express themselves and give them a sense of belonging in the community,” Ms Van Der Velden said.
The exhibition ‘I found my feet’ opens in LRG and on the streets on 4 October.
Free performances of How High the Sky for babies aged one and under will be held at LRG on 11 and 12 October from 11.30am and 1pm, with babies up to 18 months able to attend the first performance.
Bookings to the show are essential and can be made by phoning 5128 5700.
For more information about Polyglot phone Ms Blake on 0420 730 720.
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