Work il­lus­trates bro­ken child­hood

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

THE ef­fect of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence on chil­dren is trau­matic and the emo­tional dam­age can be on­go­ing.

Whit­sun­day Chris­tian Col­lege stu­dent Kathryn Har­ris has high­lighted this through a school art as­sign­ment.

The art­work com­bines an ink sil­hou­ette of a cou­ple fight­ing with wa­ter­colour im­agery of a child sur­rounded by roses.

“The roses rep­re­sent her ‘child­like­ness’ and her in­no­cence – her dreams and am­bi­tions. And as the abuse hap- pens, when it’s a regular thing, then her dreams die and wither away,” she said.

“It’s such a big is­sue in our com­mu­nity.”

The 16-year-old said her art­work was “in­spired” by her mother’s work.

Ol­wyn Har­ris was a pas­tor at Lib­erty Church in Proser­pine and a fam­ily sup­port worker with Re­la­tion­ships Australia.

“Both those roles bring me in con­tact with peo­ple who are still man­ag­ing the im­pacts from (do­mes­tic vio- lence),” she said.

Kathryn’s ef­forts earned her an A for the piece, but more than that she also re­ceived her mother’s awe and ad­mi­ra­tion.

“It’s al­most very hum­bling to have some­thing that’s close to my heart be­ing passed on to the next gen­er­a­tion and be­ing close to her heart,” Ms Har­ris said.

“It’s some­thing that she re­flected on and un­der­stood some of the sig­nif­i­cance and im­pact.”

Kathryn said she was her own worst critic and wasn’t usu­ally happy with her work.

“This is one of my first art pieces that I like how it turned out,” she said.

Kathryn, who al­ready works at a Whit­sun­day day care cen­tre, wants to con­tinue work­ing with chil­dren.

AGE OF IN­NO­CENCE: Kathryn Har­ris and mum Ol­wyn Har­ris with Kathryn’s art as­sign­ment that shows the ef­fects of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence on chil­dren.

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