Work illustrates broken childhood
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.