Melbourne artist teams up with national welfare organisation for Anti-Poverty Week03 October 2017
For Anti-Poverty Week the Brotherhood of St Laurence national welfare organisation has released a limited edition tote bag, featuring a striking illustration by award-winning Melbourne artist Michael Fikaris.
“Poverty affects us all in some way – directly, or through a family member, friend or neighbour, or in the streets of our community. I’m excited to be part of the effort to shed light on the widening divide between the haves and have-nots,” Fikaris says.
Fikaris has generously contributed an illustration from his latest series, ‘End Points’, featuring two figures wearing gas masks to symbolise the struggle many people have to 'breathe easy' in society – a motif Fikaris has used in much of his art. He works with a range of media including comics, zines, murals and paintings, and is part of the community based collective, Silent Army.
Brotherhood head Tony Nicholson says since 1930, the Brotherhood has worked with others towards achieving an Australia free of poverty.
“We have always reached out to the community about the importance of alleviating and preventing poverty,” he said.
“In the 1940s our founder Gerard Tucker reached out by commissioning films about the plight of people living in Melbourne’s slums. Today the powerful imagery on these tote bags helps to spread the message that together we can make changes to help disadvantaged people build better lives.”
The tote bag is $20 or $27.50 with postage and available for purchase online. Proceeds from sales will be used for Brotherhood programs and services which support disadvantaged and marginalised people, including young people seeking work, people with disability and refugees.
During Anti-Poverty Week all Australians are encouraged to organise or take part in an activity to highlight or overcome issues of poverty and hardship in Australia or overseas.