INTO THE LIGHT is a community process and event developed using art to explore ongoing recovery issues, to help break down isolation and build connections in Whittlesea and surrounding communities (Victoria, Australia). It began in 2011 in response to community needs following the 2009 Black Saturday Bush fires. Locals asked that the project be repeated, to continue a collective reflection, realising that community recovery is an ongoing and evolving process that takes time to unfold.
Since 2011, we have engaged in a collective collaborative art project in the Whittlesea Township and surrounding areas, as part of a community recovery process.
Each September, members of bushfire affected communities from across the Kinglake Ranges paraded together as a personal, public and collective ritual to welcome spring, reflected on the effect of enforced change in our lives, and looked to their future, together.
Guided by a community committee of local people and artists, the theme changed each year to reflect communities’ unfolding issues rather than council boundaries or projected plans.
As time passed the themes and content for INTO THE LIGHT gently shifted from recovery, through resilience and into community building.
Working across municipal borders the process has involved workshops delivered in twelve schools throughout the Whittlesea, Nillumbik, Mitchel and Murrindindi shires and community workshops engaging individuals and groups of all ages and abilities.