The Home Project
The Home Project is a three-year collaborative research project, established through a partnership between researchers in the School of Arts and Social Sciences at Southern Cross University, and Northern Rivers Performing Arts (NORPA), with support from the Winsome Hotel, Lismore Soup Kitchen, Arts NSW and the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation. The lead investigator for SASS is Dr Grayson Cooke.
The Home Project's principal objective is to raise awareness of homelessness in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales, through extensive and ongoing creative explorations and community engagement activities. Broad project aims are to inform services for individuals affected by homelessness, raise awareness amongst the general public of the issues around homelessness, and, where appropriate, provide avenues for public dissemination of the stories of individuals who have found themselves without a home.
In the 2013 iteration of The Home Project, NORPA ran a series of creative arts workshops at the Winsome Hotel, an iconic Lismore hotel that now provides daily meals to the disadvantaged, and low-cost transitional accommodation for marginalized men. In these workshops, a group of artists - Lismore mixed-media artist Karla Dickens, chef and writer Jim Hearn, sound artist Jamie Birrell, and musician Peter Lehner - worked with visitors and residents of the Winsome Hotel, and project director Bronwyn Purvis, to create works in various media that explored personal stories of home and homelessness. These works were then presented in a night of performance at the Winsome, with dinner cooked by chef Jim Hearn and residents of the Winsome Hotel.
- Winsome You Losesome - a public performance at the Winsome Hotel. 29 November 2013.
- Hearn, Jim. "Hotel Homeless: the true meaning of hospitality." Griffith REVIEW Edition 44: Cultural Solutions, (forthcoming) 2014.
In 2012, we explored the history of the Winsome, with people sharing stories of The Winsome as a pub, as a historical structure and as a music venue as well as stories of its current role as the home of the Lismore Soup Kitchen Inc. The results of this research process were shared as a multimedia presentation at the Winsome Hotel, in conjunction with performances by the Bridge Street Choir.
- Winsome Stories - a public research presentation at the Winsome Hotel, 20 October 2012
In the first year of this project, the project partners wished to connect with Northern Rivers communities around questions of home and belonging. We conducted a number of community engaged arts activities during National Homeless Persons' Week. In these activities, participants were invited to reflect on their own understanding of notions of home and belonging. As a method of establishing community members' sense of belonging in this region, people were asked: "If a statue was made in your honour, what would it look like and where would it be placed?" These activities resulted in an exhibition at the SCU next Art Gallery, and a profile of the project by ABC Open.
- A Place for Everything - media art exhibition, SCU next Art Gallery, October 20 - November 3 2011.
- Lewers, Alex. "Have I Got a Pose For You?" ABC Open, 18 October 2011.