Finding New Ways to Connect in a Changing World

The Torch’s primary aim is to provide art, cultural and arts industry support to Indigenous offenders and ex-offenders in Victoria. A vital stage in program delivery is just after release when our Indigenous Arts Officers encourage artists to continue to develop their art practice as they transition back into the community.

Due to social distancing restrictions, our Arts Officers are facing unprecedented obstacles to be able to provide this support. They have looked at this as an opportunity, and have adapted to the changing environment quickly and creatively.

Actions such as increased team meetings, increased phone support and correspondence with participants, sending art materials for post-release artists and working closely with Aboriginal Wellbeing Officers (AWO’s) who work in the prison systems, have allowed the Arts Officers to continue their incredible support towards new and existing participants.

A great development has been the increase in Social Media support. Each of our Indigenous Arts Officers has been working closely with their participants to create a group of In-Community artists. The Facebook group is a place where artists are encouraged to share their works, ask for tips and chat with each other about their journeys.

It is also a place where our Indigenous Arts Officers can share step-by-step guides with the artists, in response to questions they receive. For example, Tarsha Davis has recently posted an incredible step-by-step guide on how to draw platypus feet, with captions throughout. View the post here.

View the latest works here, and please consider supporting our artists if you can picture one of the works in your home or office.