Opening of a massive work of art by Glen Innes | Examiner Glen Innes


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BIG ART: Margaret Haselwood shows a small part of the large painting. It took two years to complete. Photos: Andrew Messenger.

A massive painting depicting a former Glen Innes resident’s struggle with her historic sexual abuse has taken pride of place at Town Hall.

The 31.5m-long work of art surrounds art lovers in a massive U-shape; the enormous job took over two years to paint.

The installation was opened Friday evening to about fifty people.

Artist Margaret Haselwood, who finished painting Echoes of Life in 2005, said it represents her own painful childhood experiences growing up in post-war Scotland.

She said it was important for the job to be so big in order to have a larger area that people can relate to.

When displayed in St. John’s Cathedral in Brisbane, it helped save the life of a victim of sexual abuse who had come to church to make peace with her choice to end her days, she said.

Ms. Haselwood had an even more incredible response this time around.

“This is the best response I have had since the work was exhibited; it is just amazing,” she said.

“It strengthened my self-confidence to present myself in regional galleries. “

A Sydney firefighter who was himself abused as a child visited the gallery on Monday, she said.

“There is no difference, people who have been abused come from all walks of life.”

But the situation for children has never been better, she said, attributing much of the progress made in recent years to the Royal Commission on Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

The royal commission found that up to 40% of the leaders of some religious institutions had participated in sexual abuse. Ms Haselwood, who now lives in Brisbane but lived in Dundee for 14 years, has been victimized by family members in Scotland and has spent decades struggling. to make sense of the sexual and physical abuse for which she still does not know the reason.

Speaking at the opening, she said the abstract work was a way to make sense of the senseless criminal actions that have done too much harm.

“Each of you will connect to the work in your own way, your own life experiences will determine how you read the picture,” she said.

“The last time this work was exhibited, a viewer said, ‘She finally understood what her daughter was going through. “

“I hope the connections to this work start or improve conversations – with family and friends, but especially with yourself.

“Once started, like-minded group discussions can also make the journey a little easier. “

The Safe in our Town committee, which helped organize the exhibit in Glen Innes Severn Town Hall, is also running a recovery night walk this Friday starting at 6 p.m.

Starting from the new Wentworth Street Youth Center, the march is part of a global movement against male sexual and physical violence against women.

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