Hand-tiles help recovery

Edward and Lucy Bourke with the concrete tile they put their hands into as part of the newly-opened 1000 Hands project 119392


A RECOVERY project that drew together more than 1000 helping hands was officially opened in an iconic Marysville location last week.
The 1000 Hands project was officially opened at Gallipoli Park in Marysville on Thursday 24 April by Triangle Arts Group (TAG) president Lisa Nolte, Murrindindi mayor Margaret Rae and Minister for Bushfire Response, Police and Emergency Services Kim Wells.
The newly-completed project features over 1000 hands cast in concrete by community members, following the Black Saturday bushfires in 2009, on 780 concrete tiles.
The tiles, each weighing two kilograms, are all placed on low walls ringing the lake in Gallipoli Park and a newly-constructed amphitheatre area overlooking the water.
Ms Nolte said TAG organised the project as part of the recovery from the bushfires, which left the town and surrounding areas decimated over five years ago.
She said the group decided to gather hands from people in the community, whether they were locals, workers in the area, or people helping to assist the town’s rebuilding.
“What we really wanted people to feel with this project is that they had a part of it and they were a part of a community,” Ms Nolte said.
“In the fractured state we were in, every week it was a new community.”
Children from primary schools around the Marysville Triangle area attended the official opening and made paint-hand prints as part of a children’s activity, before enjoying some specially-made cake.
Ms Nolte said each of the tiles, which bore hands, feet and drawings from people young and old, carried their own individual stories, and represented a moment frozen in time.
The project was funded by the Victorian Bushfire Appeal Fund and the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust, and created by the Triangle Arts Group with the assistance of members and volunteers.