Art open for introspection

Kim Brereton and Jill Keogh have created a veritable village of houses made from recycled materials and invite the community to come and look inside.
Kim Brereton and Jill Keogh have created a veritable village of houses made from recycled materials and invite the community to come and look inside.

Which house would you like to live in? There's a house inspired by the church at Federal that the community has been raising money to buy back. The eyes of God look out from the side and the roof is made from recycled pieces of upholstery material. Next to it, other houses made from recycled cardboard boxes tell a myriad of stories about people living in a modern world. These 3D houses are part of an Art in the Heart pop-up exhibition which opens in Lismore today (Thursday, July 12) and everyone is invited to come along and not only look, but interact with and respond to the installations.

These colourful artworks come from the inspired imaginations of artists Jill Keogh and Kim Brereton. Kim's experience of working in the field of mental health art therapy and Jill's environmental activism have combined to bring an exhibition that is guaranteed to make people think about living spaces and how we see the world. The two artists have been collaborating together on community projects for many years now and their latest exhibition Open for Introspection is a retrospective of some of their paintings as well as their latest obsession with creating houses.

Kim has spent many years restoring old houses and loves old buildings. She sees the simple elemental shapes of the cardboard houses she has created as containers for our dreams, as well as a reflection of the culture we live in and the issues around us.

"I see myself in them and I want people to look inside and see what they think and feel," Kim said. "Houses can be nostalgic and I look at them and think of childhood."

All of the materials used to create the artworks are made from recycled and scrap materials and both Kim and Jill are always looking for more things to collect and use. They want to create affordable artworks that can be accessed by all people in the community.

"I'm a bower bird," Jill said. "I pick up pieces everywhere and they come in handy. On one of the houses, I've made, the roof is covered in books; the house is weighted down by all of the knowledge we have and it can be good depending on how we use it."

The exhibition will be launched at 5.30pm by Mayor Jenny Dowell at the Pop Up Gallery at 56 Magellan Street, Lismore. The exhibition will run until July 26.

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