Bundaberg's Seeds of Unity mandala, made up of thousands of individual hand-painted leopard tree pods, came full circle after a visit from the project's original founder.
The reimagining of this project started locally in June at Bundaberg Art Gallery with community members invited to paint their own leopard tree pod to add to the mandala.
The Seeds of Unity idea originated in Brisbane by not-for-profit organisation Womenspace, 24 years ago, in 1998.
Ludmila travelled to the Bundaberg Region specifically to visit the installation.
She said it was fantastic to see the extensive community effort that went into the local project.
Ludmilla said the Seeds of Unity mandala at Womenspace was not as big as the Bundaberg installation and she praised the community for creating such a wonderful art piece.
“For me this is a privilege to know the story that started so many years ago, is alive, it’s not just history as it is living here and now,” Ludmilla said.
“It’s about spreading, I love the idea of spreading, and here the seeds of unity are spreading – bringing us all together.
Ludmilla said the team at Womenspace were left in awe when they heard the project had sprouted, to grow in Bundaberg.
“It has an interesting story… it is a symbol of belonging, of differences, of ideas and beliefs,” she said.
“It’s amazing to come to Bundaberg to see this, it is wonderful and validating.”
Council’s Arts, Culture and Events portfolio spokesperson Cr John Learmonth said the Seeds of Unity art installation recognised being part of a community and could have a positive effect on mental health and emotional wellbeing.
“It’s about drawing people together to be part of something greater, it’s about a moment of mindfulness,” Cr Learmonth said.
“Overall, the project was collective, involving a large scale of participation, starting with community members contributing seeds from their own leopard trees to be used.”
Cr Learmonth said Seeds of Unity connected people of all ages and abilities in the one project.
“With the help of their parents, we’ve had babies contribute to the project at Flourish Family Fun Day and older people, up to 90 years of age, from Gracie Dixon Respite Centre have taken part,” he said.
“Activity kits, available for loan, have been out to various schools and support organisations and people who live with disability having worked on this wonderful project.
“In terms of accessibility, it really is ‘The Great Community Art Installation’ and everyone is welcomed and invited to contribute.”