It's no secret that young people continue to leave thriving regional towns for cities, but a new art exhibition and research project is aiming to understand why young people are leaving these areas and why some choose to stay.
"Finding Home" is the newest project by Dr Candice Boyd, an artist and geographer currently working at the University of Melbourne. The project is a unique blend of academia and art, exhibiting the results from the recent Engaging Youth in Regional Australia study.
The research project covered three major towns facing the issue; Hedland WA, Port Lincoln SA and Griffith NSW.
Dr Boyd said "All three areas have really strong local economies, and there are industries that support these regions - so if there are job opportunities, why do you choose to leave?"
Following community group discussions and a wide array of interviews, 16 artworks were produced to illustrate the findings in a unique and powerful way. The exhibition will include handmade textiles by artist-activist Tal Fitzpatrick, and a collaboration between mother-daughter, Aboriginal artists Lorna Dawson and Kimberley McKie.
The description of the show explains the concept in brief.
"This research demonstrates that choosing to stay or leave a regional area as a young Australian is a deeply emotional and complex decision - not a foregone conclusion ... How might Australian regions better foster young people who choose to stay, support the transition for those who leave, and value the knowledge and experience of those who return?"
The exhibition will run from September 4 to October 3, at the Griffith Regional Art Gallery.
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