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Byron Shire
December 10, 2023

Elysium dreams big in Byron Bay laneway

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A concept rendering for ELYSIUM on Lawson Lane by artists Sonia van de Haar (road designer), Harley Graham and Max Beaur (walls and light sculpture). Photo supplied
A concept rendering for ELYSIUM on Lawson Lane by artists Sonia van de Haar (road designer), Harley Graham and Max Beaur (walls and light sculpture). Photo supplied

Revamping  Byron Bay’s Lawson Lane from an unloved service lane full of rubbish bins into the world’s first ‘curated’ laneway will give women from the SHIFT project, who are homeless, or at risk of homelessness, the chance to extend their art skills and knowledge to a new level.

Jackie and Anj are women who have been developing their skills under the guidance of local artist, and owner of Exchange Design Gallery in Bangalow, Paula Bannan.

Paula says, ‘Anj and Jackie have shown commitment and dedication both to their art practice and the SHIFT project program.’

Likewise, Jackie praises her mentor’s encouragement.

Jackie said, ‘Paula has been an inspiration and her support has allowed me to re-establish my art portfolio. She has encouraged me to pursue more formal study.’

‘I am looking forward to participating in the Elysium project, which will give me an opportunity to meet and work with local artists and designers.’

Providing skills is just one aspect of the Elysium project, which is close to reaching its $100,000 target; currently it is $20,000 short.

While the artworks are currently being finalised, the art installation aims to incorporate a range of art media, from sculpture and lighting to painting.

The installation will take place between March 1 and 15 next year.

Recording the process will be renowned Brisbane documentary filmmaker Selina Miles. Over the two weeks that the project runs, Selina will be on hand to record the transformation. Rebecca says, ‘She is really creative in the way she approaches her work. Selina is internationally recognised for her work recording street art around the world.’

With the Elysium project close to reaching its funding goal, donations from philanthropists are now being sought to raise the final $20,000. Rebecca says, ‘We are looking for private patrons who would be willing to donate $1,000.’ If you are interested in becoming a sponsor contact Rebecca Townsend  0404 087 443.

The principal sponsor is BASE (formerly Nomads), and other major contributors so far are Stone & Wood Brewing, Resene Paints (who are donating all the paint), The Echo, Shogun Signs, Feros Arcade, PM3, Harley Graham Architects, Creative Road and Fullerton Creative.

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