CULTURALLY and linguistically diverse communities are showcasing their COVID stories and messages, with a new exhibition at the Mildura Arts Centre.

Arts exhibition coordinator Emmie Dowling said the exhibition focused on a range of COVID-related issues and ideas.

“(It is) stories of hope from the last two years,” she said.

“I guess the main aim was to spread messages of COVID safety but also to be able to have a conversation.

“We had contributors from Swan Hill all the way up to Mildura.”

Organised by Sunraysia Mallee Ethnic Communities Council, the Our Covid Experiences exhibition showcases work from a range of linguistically and culturally diverse people, as well as students from Dareton Public School and SMECC staff.

Along with several pieces of art, Ms Dowling said there would also be audio playing in the gallery.

“We’ve got about 50 minutes of about 15 to 17 people with different voices,” she said.

“Piata (Taurima) was one of them, she sent through a story on what it was like to have COVID.”

Piata, a local 13-year-old Maori Australian, said it was good for people to hear different experiences.

“When I got COVID I started crying because I didn’t know, I’d saw on the news how people had died from it and I thought that would happen to me and I wouldn’t get better,” she said.

“But through the days my parents were supporting me.”

Piata said in her audio she gave advice to parents, telling them not to panic or stress about COVID around their children to help children remain calm.

Piata said her family also submitted an art piece, which showed the evolution of their mask-making skills and how the designed evolved from a hi-vis sock with holes to a sewn piece of material with proper shape and elastic.

“The sock masks, mum found them on Tik Tok, she wanted to try them just so when the pandemic started we didn’t have to go buy masks and then throw them out,” she said.

“After a while we started buying some fabric and sewing and making our own masks which was really fun.”

Ms Dowling said the exhibition would not have been possible without help from Jack Guy from No Border Creative, Kate Cotching from Pelican Arts and support through the Victorian Government’s Multicultural Communications Outreach Program.

The exhibition launched last Thursday and will be on display in gallery 5 until June 5.



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