My journey with these very special ladies has been pure joy. I started the Lasting Memories Mosaic group just after the Black Saturday fires in 2009. After the horrific fires ravaged through St Andrews and the surrounding areas, a group of bushfire affected ladies bravely came back to St Andrews to begin their healing in an artistic way. I wanted to help each woman create something beautiful and meaningful, teaching them to make their own special mosaic using remnants of crockery, glass, tiles and bricks salvaged from their own properties. These artworks identify who they are and tell their personal 'life journey' and family heritage. Each week we helped each other through the turbulence of emotions. Developing confidence and creating a safe place where they were able to come together, share experiences and make new and lasting connections within the community. For most women, being displaced by the fires, being part of the group was a way of reconnecting to the area, friends and neighbours.
As the months went by, the idea of creating a gift to the community together was born. The women wanted to artistically express their memories of what they had experienced before, during Black Saturday and beyond. Creating a mosaic seat in the heart of St Andrews allowed the group to be 'in control' of building something from the ground up - a symbol of hope, recovery and renewal.
This seat is an expression of their love for this beautiful area and the nature and people within it. All of their experiences and memories have been included into the seat design, which makes it so special. This mosaic seat is proudly positioned outside the St Andrews Hall, which is also the site for the St Andrews market held every Saturday throughout the year.
LASTING MEMORIES MOSAIC GROUP
Countess Linda Maree Elizabeth Klebelsberg