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Award-winning artist joins as Art in Focus teacher

ACH Group has welcomed experienced and prize-winning artist Linda Hammond to the role of art teacher for Art in Focus, an arts class for people 65+ years old run at Yankalilla.

Linda, who owns her own studio, is enthusiastic about all different types of art and is committed to making a difference in the lives of those she teaches and supporting charities that help injured wildlife.

Linda is also a proud participant in ‘100 Artworks for Koalas’, an initiative raising funds to support koalas, that will be going live soon. She has also donated a watercolour koala artwork to be auctioned with funds raised going to the Adelaide Koala and Wildlife Hospital.

“I also do a lot of charity pieces during the year, in last year’s devastating bushfires I managed to raise over $500 for charities that help injured wildlife and then rehabilitate them back into nature”, Linda said.

“I love our Australian lifestyle and wildlife and a lot of my work is inspired by what is around me. I generally have a camera ready wherever I go, and I am constantly taking photos of our native fauna and flora.

“Yankalilla is about an hour drive from where I live, and I love how after a short drive you are on the winding roads on a road of discovery. I am forever amazed at what is in the gullies and hills along the road as you drive to Yankalilla, the native wildlife and scenery is breathtaking. The hills as you come into Yankalilla are lovely, the big trees and light shining through them, it’s a picture postcard that needs to be painted.”

The Fleurieu region as the backdrop made the position to work as the lead artist for ACH Group’s Art in Focus even more appealing to Linda.

“I was aware of many of ACH Group’s programs due to my father recently being diagnosed with early onset dementia. He receives regular support with outings and housework. When I told him I had taken this position he was so proud of me. Silly, I know, but even at 51 years of age, your dad being proud of you still makes you smile.”

Linda said that ACH Group’s Art in Focus is for everyone, from beginners to pros and everyone in between.

“It is an inclusive environment where peer learning is encouraged. Everyone is so excited to see each other’s progress in the group, it is such a great environment to work in,” she said.

“You’re never too old to learn something new or try to reconnect with art even if it has been 20 or 30 years since doing it. I love how each person is so happy to learn or mentor each other, it really is a lovely environment to work in.”

Visual arts and the practice of it helps with an increase of self-esteem, socialising and building a social network which encourages a feeling of place in society.

“There are so many art exhibitions ACH Group customers can enter. Showing their work publicly will get their art and stories into the world and give themselves pride in what they have accomplished,” Linda said.

“I find in my classes that people feel relaxed and calm as they leave the session, because creating something has lifted them spiritually and physically. I know art is a wonderful place to let go of a lot of stress.

“You may never be a Van Gogh, but you can give it your best shot and enjoy yourself while doing it in the process.”

Art in Focus classes at Yankalilla are held on Wednesday at the Yankalilla Uniting Church Hall, 121 Main South Road, Yankalilla from 9.45am – 11.45am.

Read more about the benefits of art.


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