30. 04. 2019
Visible with Ashton
Ashton’s path to the arts started as part of his rehabilitation after a very serious car accident in 2013. Ashton experienced multiple broken bones and a left-side brain injury which meant using a wheelchair to get around for many months and rediscovering many skills he’d once taken for granted. Along the way he also discovered his passion for drawing and art. Ashton is now an emerging muralist and has an interest in cartoon-style art. He’s worked with Adelaide legend Seb Humphreys and continues to develop his skills and style.
Ashton’s PD opportunity came about a little differently. Jayne Holland – a fierce and proactive arts leader from the Eyre Peninsula – contacted me about a project she was working on with the local council in Streaky Bay. The project was a two-day street art workshop for teenagers in Streaky Bay with a visiting professional artist to paint the skate park. Jayne and I had been emailing back and forth about other projects and bits we were both working on this year – part of that flow of information that helps project outcomes happen everywhere – and when this project was mentioned I asked if there would be any opportunity for Ashton to be involved? I knew Ashton was keen to have more mural experience and just to get out there and paint – he’d told me so directly in our 1:1s.
There wasn’t scope in the budget Jayne and the council had to include him but if we could find a way to cover his costs (accommodation, travel etc) Jayne was really supportive and keen to have Ashton involved with the project as an assistant artist. Jayne was behind organising some of the projects Ashton had been involved with Seb on so she knew he was good value!
So I went to Ashton with the proposal of joining the project as part of his Art Squad PD – travel, accommodation, food and a small artist fee with anything left over. Ashton was keen so we went back to Jayne and Jessica (from Streaky Bay Council) with the green light and it was a go.
Ashton – and his mum Tam (Ashton’s fatigue makes travel difficult so Tam was driver and support person) – arrived in Streaky Bay Monday evening 15th April for the workshops on Tuesday 16th and Wednesday 17th. Ashton worked with the lead artist Todd Romy across the two days with local teenagers to create the final mural. You can see for yourself how awesome the finished product looks and take a look at Visible Streaky Bay for some other photos from behind the scenes!
Ashton told me via SMS afterwards,”The experience was with great people in a great place and everything went to plan. I learnt new skills and techniques and another tick in my book, working with others. The best part was working with Todd Romy 1on1 and sharing skills and having the same style helped heaps. The most challenging part was to use confidence and holding a meeting with kids.”
Ashton also decided that he wanted to only be reimbursed for fuel and food and not take an artist fee so that he still has some $$$ left in his PD kitty if another opportunity comes along.
Total cost: $597.86
- Fuel $80
- Food $67.86
- Accommodation $450 (3 nights x $150per night)