Bell Yett Mindfulness

Wattle Park couple James and Wendy Muir fulfilled a dream in October of last year when they travelled to France to complete a two-week Artist-in-Residence fellowship on writing and art. They produced a book, Orquevaux Mindfulness, from their time in France, with words by James and paintings by Wendy.

Soon after they returned home they saw an advertisement for Council’s Fund My Place project in the local paper. Fund My Place was a pilot project in 2018/19, aimed at bringing people together to transform a public space in their neighbourhood.

They formed the idea of combining James’ writing skills, his interest in mindfulness and Wendy’s art to produce postcards to be available in Bell Yett Reserve right opposite their home in Wattle Park.

“Each month we plan to produce a postcard with an original artwork image of Bell Yett Reserve and a brief mindfulness reflection linked to the image,” says Wendy.

September’s postcard shows an image depicting ‘The last light of winter’ with a reflection to ‘Slow Down’.

James says he wanted to add to people’s enjoyment of the reserve. “It’s about community building,” he says. “This area is absolutely beautiful.”

The project enhances the experience of people visiting Bell Yett and strengthens their connection.

“We want it to foster a stronger sense of identity with the Reserve and the neighbourhood generally’” says James.

From the front room of their house they can see the entrance and the small box in which the cards are placed. “It’s fun watching people walk in and check it out,” says Wendy.

More than 50 cards have already been taken and they are hoping the take-up will be about 200 a month. The Fund My Place grant covers the cost of printing, the box, art materials and signage.

The project is dedicated to the memory of Colin Pryor, a resident of Wattle Park for more than 50 years. “Colin was a true gentleman and loved his local community,” says James. “Over the years he walked his various dogs in Bell Yett and enjoyed it immensely.”

Other successful applicants were Preethi Kotera and Susila Palani.

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