June 2010 - The Living Wall Project / by Nerina Lascelles

Over the past 6 months I have been involved in a very exciting project at the ‘Living Room’ in Hosier Lane in the CBD. The Living Room is a health – ‘drop-in’ service for marginalised individuals who are either homeless or dealing with drug addictions.

Funded under the Arts Victoria Community Partnerships Program, the ‘Living Wall’ is a project which has allowed the Living Room clients to artistically express themselves and to discover and develop new meanings in life. Some clients have experienced great break throughs and deep transformation in their life.

I’ve been conducting Art Therapy sessions where I’ve been inviting the clients to think of a meaningful symbol which would represent them. Workshops also assisted the clients in making stencils of their symbols with the help of a stencil artist. After collating over 20 symbols, a mural design was born and a stencil artist, graffiti artist and Living Room Guests, brought the mural design to life on the front of the building.

Situated right in the heart of Melbourne's street art scene, the “Living Wall’ communicated with hundreds of Melbournians and tourists alike who frequent this lane way everyday and promoted a greater sense of understanding and empathy in our community. In addition, the Living Wall gave the marginalised community a creative voice and a sense of inclusion.

It has been a rich and rewarding experience.

The Living Room Wall Before

The Living Room Wall - After

The Living Room Door - Before

Living Room Door - After

On Tuesday 22nd June, the wall was officially opened at a launch.  Over 100 people attended to hear speeches from some of the clients, the Living Room manager and myself.
Living Wall Launch

Living Wall Project Slide show