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SALA exhibition a success for the Southern Cross Care Community

SALA at Oakfield Lodge
SALA at West Beach
SALA at West Beach
SALA at Oakfield Lodge
SALA at West Beach

Delving into their cultural backgrounds, interests, passions and memories to create flags that represented their identity was the task for artists participating in this year’s SA Living Artists (SALA) workshops.

Supported by the Community Foundation, Southern Cross Care held 45 SALA workshops for Residential Care residents across SA, while the community-based ICreate class also worked on their flags.

Residents who engaged in the workshops included Cora, a 103 year old who still loves to paint, and Rosealie, who picked up a paintbrush for the first time at 92 years of age and has discovered a new passion. 

John also found new confidence through the social interaction of the workshops, which were designed to address loneliness and social isolation.

In total, more than 200 artists contributed to the exhibition, which was hosted in the Bowler Family Cafe at Carmelite.

It was a bright, colourful and meaningful display which delighted many visitors over the month of August.

Residents from several different homes even visited the exhibition on day trips to witness the full impact of the collaborative project.

Southern Cross Care 2023 SALA Exhibition | Better for life®

This year’s SALA exhibition has involved the work of people from across the Southern Cross Care community - Residential Care, Health & Wellness and Retirement Living.

To display the flags, volunteers from the Men’s Shed at The Pines Retirement Living built a set of beautiful flag stands.

The SALA program is proudly supported by the Southern Cross Care Community Foundation, as the opportunity to be involved in a community-wide art program is a proven way to reduce loneliness and social isolation among older adults.

The whole program, from workshops with residents in their homes, to the opening event, received plenty of positive feedback. In particular, the flag stands made by the Men’s Shed were a stand out feature of the exhibition.

The Men’s Shed group meets every Tuesday morning and Thursday afternoon, and they always start with a coffee and chat.

Then they get stuck into whatever project is on the current agenda - everything from pot stands to reindeers, jigsaw tables and chopping boards.

“The function of the shed is one, to give men something meaningful to do, the other is the social aspect of it - to come, have a chat and enjoy each others’ company,” Men’s Shed member Ern Buckland said.

Fellow member Bob Reilly said, “One of the things when you move into a retirement village is you lose your garage, or your shed, and so the purpose of it is to give people somewhere to come for a social outlet, to do things with your hands.”

The Men’s Shed was started by resident Arthur Reed 25 years ago, but fell out of use until three years ago. The current group received a Community Foundation grant to purchase some new equipment.

The seven members continue to put their own money into projects when necessary, but they all agree the outcomes are well worth it.

Similar to the SALA program, the Men’s Shed is another wonderful initiative reducing loneliness and social isolation in the Southern Cross Care community.