Tuesday, 08 August 2023
Blend Creative exhibition “We’ve Got it Covered”
I am pleased to join you this afternoon to launch the ‘We’ve Got it Covered’ exhibition.
This is the fourth time that Blend Creative has exhibited during SALA, and I thank you all for supporting the festival.
South Australia enjoys an international reputation for our arts programs and festivals.
The extraordinary creativity we have in our city and state has made us a leading light in the global arts scene.
One of great strengths of the arts in South Australia is inclusivity, and the opportunities we afford artists of all ages, backgrounds and abilities.
Festivals such as the Adelaide Fringe and SALA provide artists, including those with disability, with a chance to stretch themselves by preparing work for show, to share their output with family and friends, and to increase public awareness of their name and work.
Last year it was my pleasure to launch a SALA exhibition by clients of Community Living Australia.
It was obvious the great joy and satisfaction that participating in the festival brought to these budding artists.
The exhibition also served as a compelling showcase of the talents and abilities of Community Living clients.
Regretably, conversation about disability in public spheres is often about what people with disability cannot do.
This hugely undersells the capabilities of people with disability, and the rich contribution you make everyday to your workplaces, families and other communities.
In life I have observed that the most powerful way we communicate our abilities, or advocate for someone else’s, is to demonstrate them in a concrete and compelling way.
‘We’ve Got it Covered’ is a great example of this.
Looking around the room, the talent on these walls is unmistakable – as are the references to many great books, films and songs!
I congratulate the Blend staff who have work on show here today.
I thank you for pushing yourselves that little bit more to explore your abilities as an artist, and to exhibit your work for public consideration and appraisal.
I thank Blend Creative for its dedication, for 30 years, to providing people with disability an opportunity for meaningful employment and creative expression through graphic design.
You are true pioneers in the space of inclusive employment, and make a significant contribution, through the example you set, to promoting inclusivity in South Australian workplaces.
I am also pleased to see embedded in your practices the goal to prepare staff for further professional opportunities in other workplaces, or in a freelance capacity.
Your organisation also produces work of outstanding quality.
At Government House we are proud to have employed Blend to create promotional materials for our Open Day in April, which in turn attracted thousands of people to the house and grounds.
Once again, congratulations to all of our artists.
I hope you are very proud of your artworks, and I thank you for sharing your talents with the broader South Australian community.