Western Bay of Plenty has a proud social service sector with approximately 240 organisations working daily to improve the well-being of individuals, families and our society. At the heart is SociaLink. SociaLink is an umbrella organisation that supports and empowers the social and community sector. SociaLink offers professional development, supports organisations to work collaboratively and undertakes advocacy and research.
SociaLink produced a series of research reports and videos to raise awareness of social issues in the Western Bay of Plenty and to better understand the social sector. The theme for the launch of this research was ‘Opening the blinds on The Real Life Of Us’. Creative Bay of Plenty, SociaLink and Legacy Trust collaborated to bring forth an artwork that would visually reflect said research, in order to help change societal perceptions and stigma. This was achieved by raising awareness of people in vulnerable circumstances, as well as the value of social sector providers.
In conjunction with the launch of the research, CBOP and SociaLink launched The SociaLink “Legacy Trust ‘Art With Purpose’ Award”. Artists were called to submit a design for an art installation which would help raise awareness of the issues identified in the research.
The artist with the winning design concept, Maria Kausalainen, received $500 to create the installation (which was then unveiled at the SociaLink launch event on the 16th August 2019) and was presented on the day with a $1000 cash prize. Following the launch, the installation was also on display in other areas around the Western Bay of Plenty, sharing its message.