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Tracy Luff

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Tracy Luff is known for her artworks, which explore her sense of place, displacement and adaptation.

Artwork by Tracy Luff
Artwork by Tracy Luff

Stage One

Tell us about the evolution of your concept through this creative development process.

Responding to the prompt “What does the future look like in your region” at a time when we were still emerging from the COVID 19 crisis, my mind was very much on the impacts this had on the people of my region. One impact in particular, drew my attention.

There had been a significant increase in the reporting of domestic and family violence. Whilst I enjoyed the time at home in my studio during lockdowns and beyond, I became increasingly aware that there were so many for whom home was not a safe place.

Domestic and family violence is not new but the more I delved into it, the more I discovered how insidious and destructive it is for individuals, families, communities, and regions. A future without family and domestic violence will allow individuals the opportunities to prosper; and in turn add to the prosperity of the communities in our regions. It was vital to my artistic response that I develop a broad and deep understanding of family and domestic violence.

I needed to research its nature and impacts on individuals, families and communities as well as community and government responses. I needed to find out what was already being done and the effectiveness of measures being taken by organisations working in that space.

To this end I arranged a series of personal and telephone interviews with social workers from Mission Australia and Anglicare, two of the organisations working directly with victims of family and domestic violence. I learnt that they and other organisations are working to prevent family and domestic violence through education programs targeted in various ways, however, the majority of resources were being used for crisis management and demand for money and services was growing.

What experts/community members did you connect with during your creative development?

  •  Mission Australia
  •  Anglicare
  • Mental Health Nurse (Regional)
  • Early Childhood
  • Parenting Educator

“The Regional Futures Project has given me an opportunity to collaborate and exchange ideas with other artists and to seek expert advice.”

 – Tracy Luff

Cardboard cushion referencing home and homelessness

Describe where your work has reached in the development process and how you can see it progressing.

It occurred to me that while people were living in fear, they could not be engaged in activities that lead to personal growth and prosperity and by extension, contribute effectively to communities and humanity in general.

As an artist I feel somewhat small and helpless. What can I do that might make a difference? I learnt that most victims of family and domestic violence are reluctant to speak out due to fear, embarrassment or other reasons; and the general public seem to avoid the issue (according to case workers).

My initial creative response was to create artwork that would attract attention to the problem, be a voice for those who were unable to speak and to communicate the impact of family and domestic violence on victims. My main focus was to raise awareness of the issue through imagery relating to crisis.

Further development of this response led me to consider creating artwork that focussed on solutions and life without domestic and family violence. Experts working in the field all agreed that a sustainable solution involved measures to prevent domestic and family violence from happening in the first place.

A key focus is on developing the interpersonal and communicative skills necessary for healthy relationships and conflict resolution as well as healthy personal and family values.

Developing these skills and values from a young age and practicing them into adulthood creates an environment where domestic and family violence could not exist. I am continuing my exploration of this complex societal problem and the development of appropriate creative responses

If you were to tell someone about the impact of Regional Futures and this creative development opportunity on your practice, what would you say to them?

The Regional Futures Project has given me an opportunity to collaborate and exchange ideas with other artists and to seek expert advice. It has allowed me to participate in online discussion forums and working on projects that have the potential to serve society in some way is very rewarding both personally and professionally.