Creatives connect across the region

Headshot of Sarah Makse
Sarah MakseAlbany Advertiser
Denmark's Elena Jujnovich with her son Brando, 5, and some artwork.
Camera IconDenmark's Elena Jujnovich with her son Brando, 5, and some artwork. Credit: Laurie Benson/Albany Advertiser, Laurie Benson

In turbulent times, an online art group is sparking creativity and connection across the Great Southern.

Launched by Denmark sewing enthusiast Elena Jujnovich, the Great Southern Creatives Challenge is encouraging locals to get busy to beat their isolation blues.

Each week for 12 weeks, members of the online Facebook group will receive a challenge to guide the creation of an original art piece in any medium they choose.

Only a week into the challenge and it has taken off, with more than 300 people of all ages going online to share their creations from sketches, photographs and poetry to knitting.

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Ros Jenke’s submission.
Camera IconRos Jenke’s submission. Credit: Ros Jenke

Ms Jujnovich said she started the group as a way to escape her own feelings of isolation and decided she wanted to help others to find the motivation to create during hard times.

“A lot of people are creative or they have had creative pursuits at some point in their lives and they might lose that along the way,” she said.

“By getting back into that space and switching your brain on to another frequency, you are tuning out the bad and focusing your energy on something new and exciting and it is very self therapeutic.”

The group has since become a treasure-trove of positivity and garnered attention from creatives across the country.

Ms Jujonvich said she had been “completely blown away” by the response to her idea and would soon launch the Aussie Creatives Challenge for people outside of the region.

Carol Duncan’s photography submission.
Camera IconCarol Duncan’s photography submission. Credit: Carol Duncan

“I just thought, let’s open it up because it would be wonderful to see how different people from different genres of arts and crafts and design all come together and interpret a theme,” she said.

“You feel like you are part of a special little group and working on something together even if you are interpreting something in different ways.

“It is just getting people together to think of something different in their lives when things are getting a bit tough.”

Ms Jujnovich said she would love to see more families join in.

“It’s so amazing to see kids’ artwork, it just puts a smile on people’s faces instantly because of the innocence of it all,” she said.

Ms Jujnovich said she hoped the group would continue to evolve once the COVID-19 storm was over and to see the creations showcased in a community exhibition once life returned to normal.

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