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Artists get hen-spired

woman making Kapara hen art

Four new chooks at Kapara, Glenelg South, are the inspiration behind a hen-themed exhibition in this month’s South Australian Living Artists (SALA) Festival.

ACH Group is the first aged care provider in South Australia and the second in Australia to introduce HenPower, a creative ageing program based around creative activities, arts, social connections and keeping chooks.

Henny Penny, Chooky Looky, Chicken Licken and Priscilla have inspired residents, staff and volunteers to create a range of artworks including paintings, knitted hens, tea cosy and egg warmers, and more.

As part of the project, Adelaide artist Rebecca Campbrell (pictured) volunteered to paint a chooks scene, before residents painted and created their own works.

The hen exhibition, on display at ACH Group’s head office at 22 Henley Beach Road, Mile End, ties in with this year’s SALA theme: ‘Reconnecting with nature – people, places and plants’.

ACH Group SALA Curator Gianna Miller says SALA acknowledges the value of artistic expression as an integral part of everyday life.

“It brings art to the community and fosters the community through art,” she says. “Our long-standing involvement with SALA is just one way in which ACH Group has been able to demonstrate its Healthy Ageing Approach to support people in our residential living homes to ‘choose to be active, remain connected and engage in what they love to do’.”

Kapara’s hens were welcomed to the Memory Support Unit, Rose Cottage, in May, with thanks to the Hart family and their business PetStock who donated the hens, coop, feed and accessories.

HenPower was launched in the UK by creative ageing charity Equal Arts in 2011 with the aim of using hen-keeping to tackle social isolation, reduce depression and improve people’s wellbeing. It has since been rolled out to more than 40 care homes in the UK, bringing hens to older people in care settings.