Almost 100 professional and emerging artists from across Australia donated their time and skills to create a giant piece of artwork in the shape of a jigsaw puzzle to help solve the puzzle of loneliness in Australia.
Dubbed 'The Connection Project', the collaborative arts project is an initiative by aged care providers and disability service not-for-profit organisation, Feros Care.
The end product is a 360-piece giant jigsaw created around the theme of connection and belonging, with each piece depicting the artists' individual response to the question "I feel most loved when...".
Designed to start a national conversation around loneliness and to raise money for Feros Care's newly launched charity, Be Someone for Someone, the response from the art community was overwhelming, with artists across all genres taking part.
Ten artworks were auctioned at the charity's launch event in Byron Bay, raising more than $5,000 for Be Someone for Someone to implement programs to help those feeling socially isolated.
Be Someone for Someone was established in response to statistics suggesting half of Australians feel lonely at least some of the time - a feeling that is known to have a worse impact on health than smoking, physical inactivity and obesity.
Recent research also found improved social connection demonstrated a 50 per cent reduction in the risk of an individual’s early death.
Head of Be Someone for Someone Jo Winwood said the response to The Connection Project had far exceeded expectations.
"This project has resonated with people from all walks of life, which is testament to how prevalent and relatable loneliness is among everyday Australians," said Ms Winwood.
"The generosity of the arts community knows no bounds and we have been humbled by their willingness to donate their time and skills to make this project come to life.
"The beautiful artworks they have created, and stories they have shared, contributed greatly to the success of this project.
"Even the creator of the original project, Tim Kelly, was blown-away by the number of artists, celebrities and every-day people who got involved, and by the calibre of art on display.
"The result is a visually striking and emotionally moving piece of artwork that goes right to the heart of what it feels like to belong.
"In addition to the beautiful artwork, the personal stories written on the back of each piece are a heart-warming insight into how people feel about belonging and articulate that social connections are as important to our vitality as the air we breathe."
Around 150 puzzle pieces are available to purchase via an online auction until Sunday, December 8 to raise funds to run programs that are proven to address loneliness and help people build lasting social connections.
Watch the full video on The Connection Project below
Be Someone For Someone Launch Event - 2019
On Thursday 28 November 2019, Feros Care launched 'Be Someone For Someone', a major charitable initiative to tackle loneliness in Australia.