In 2016 there was a recession in the dairy industry and our local farmers were hurting. KernArt came to be in response to a need in our community and we raised funds for the “Look Over the Farm Gate” initiative. “Gumboots” was painted after the artist, Janice Orchard visited a local farm and saw these boots on a rack at the back door. They represent all the generations of farmers who worked the land to feed the country.
Again, the gumboots represent family. The frogs in this painting signal a return to a healthy environment after drought when rain brings life to the parched land.
It had been a good year for the farmers, hence the happychooks, a sign of productivity. Their quirky expressions are joyful and full of personality.
With mental health in the spotlight, KernArt shifted the focus of fundraising to helping the children of parents receiving help for their own mental health. Partnering with Bass Coast Regional Health the funds raised from the KernArt Prize art show went to programs aimed at providing children in this situation with what they need, such as sports club membership, uniforms, school camp fees and things that allow them to join their peers in activities that bring them joy and increased self confidence.
In 2020 the COVID-19 pandemic shut the world down and KernArt was unable to take place. With the “ring of steel” around Melbourne, city people were unable to visit their country holiday houses. During the lock down people commented on the increase in the number of birds they were seeing as they were relatively undisturbed.