Helen Barnes is a Sister of St Joseph who has been involved in isolated and remote places most of her life. During a 3 month sabattical around Australia, looking for a way to respond to the needs of our times, Helen was inspired by Brett Whiteley’s painting ‘An American Dream’ on display in the Art Gallery of Western Australia.
There had been much media discussion about who symbolised the Australian spirit – Simpson and his donkey? Helen decided that although no longer involved in education, as a volunteer she would approach 7 secondary schools with the idea of an 18 panel painting, ‘An Australian Dream’ as seen through the eyes of young Australians.
Helen is engaged in a voluntary capacity on the project which is still in the planning stage, though she has booked an exhibition space in North Sydney for a launch on 8 August 2006.
On hearing her project would receive the third Community Gift she said “I am so happy to be able to tell schools that we have money for the paint and perhaps some of the other expenses. The main thing is that this gift will inspire us to move along. Projects such as this seem to take on a life of their as this one seems to be already.”