POWER OF ART: 'Artists have a freedom to speak and a whole art world we can speak to.' Lorissa Manners.
POWER OF ART: 'Artists have a freedom to speak and a whole art world we can speak to.' Lorissa Manners.

Cooroy artist bringing painful refugee stories to life

THROUGH the power of art, one Cooroy woman is shining positive light on some painfully sad life stories.

Lorissa Manners' exhibition, Passage into Heart of Resilience, was inspired by six brave, young women.

Three of them were teenage refugees in a community detention centre on Nauru.

"When I heard about these girls I thought these stories need to be told," Ms Manners said.

"Art is the perfect way for this to happen.

"I wanted to show their strength, resilience and dignity."

POWER OF ART: 'Artists have a freedom to speak and a whole art world we can speak to.' Lorissa Manners.
POWER OF ART: 'Artists have a freedom to speak and a whole art world we can speak to.' Lorissa Manners.

The Cooroy artist said art is the perfect way to share powerful messages without the need for words.

"Artists have a freedom to speak and a whole art world we can speak to," Ms Manners said.

Ms Manners met with the girls for nearly a year working out the best way to portray their stories.

As an artist, putting these remarkable stories on show to the world was a significant responsibility.

"Each of them have spoken to me about how they want their portraits done and what they want included," Ms Manners said.

"We had to spend some time together and they had to trust me.

"They had to feel like they were partners in it."

As powerful as it was to showcase these woman's emotional stories, Ms Manners said she learnt a lot about herself during this process.

"It has had quite a powerful outcome on me," she said.

In terms of hearing first hand from the ladies how they think.

"So many of my original thoughts have been smashed."

'Passage into the Heart of Resilience' opens at the Cooroy Butter Factory Art Centre on Saturday February 22 at 4pm.

The exhibition is supported by Women Initiating New Directions Inc (WINDO) as part of International Women Week.

WINDO participating artists and speakers wish to thank the Noosa Council RADF division for their contribution to this women-focused community event.


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