Changing the conversation about treasured lives

an artwork from the Precious Excess Exhibition called 'Spider' 2021 by Siobhan Marriott. It features salvaged multiple magazine pages, collage on art paper and matt board.

Anglicare’s Treasured Lives research encouraged people to look at the issue of hoarding through a new lens. It also called for tailored support for families living with this challenge. Now an art exhibition and a series of regional workshops show the community momentum for action on this important issue.

Almost 100 professionals came together last month for a series of online workshops hosted by Anglicare. They represented the aged care, mental health and housing sectors and also included animal welfare staff, environmental health officers and carers.

The guest speakers were Lesley King of the Tasmania Fire Service, Rick Fulton from Housing Tasmania and artist Siobhan Marriott.

“They each made a fabulous contribution and participants were very engaged with this topic,” said researcher Lindsey Fidler. “There was a huge appetite for establishing regional networks that will help services to work in partnership to support families with these challenges.”

A powerful message

The recent Precious Excess exhibition at the Moonah Arts Centre also provided an insight into the experience of supporting family members who find it difficult to sort and discard things.

Curator Siobhan Marriott brought together several Australian and international artists for the show. It also included her own collages.  Both beautiful and thought-provoking, a common thread among the works was that hoarding is often a response to trauma and grief.

Siobhan was one of the original research participants in Anglicare’s Treasured Lives project.

“People living with hoarding and their families are more often judged than understood,” Lindsey Fidler said when she opened the show. “We need to understand the nature of the challenges, their root causes and their personal, social and environmental impacts.

Precious Excess invites you to nurture an emotional connection to the experience of living with hoarding behaviours. It prompts conversations about this complex community issue. How can we, as a community, better understand what it is to live with hoarding behaviours?  How can we engage with and support families?”

Siobhan Marriott will have a solo exhibition of her work at the Salamanca Arts Centre from April 1. You can also see her work on Instagram: @siobhanmarriott and @minimum_2_

For all things Treasured Lives, including a short video about Precious Excess, visit the Treasured Lives web page.

Photo: Spider, 2021 by Siobhan Marriott features salvaged multiple magazine pages, collage on art paper and matt board.


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