Tractor becomes canvas for trauma relief | Gallery

About six years ago, Melbourne friends Derek Persival and James Glover saw a ride-on mower on the side of the road and joked about riding the mower to Sydney. 

As the years passed the joke continued, but after working with The Art Cabriolet, an organisation which provides art therapy for children and adolescents with trauma, Mr Persival decided their original idea had to be changed, and purchased a tractor for their mission.

This month the men are driving a Massey Fergusson TE20 tractor from Newcastle to Melbourne. This tractor is now the face of The Art Cabriolet’s awareness campaign for art therapy. 

On Friday morning, about 25 special needs students and  Angels for the Forgotten youth armed with paintbrushes and covered in paint added their personal messages to the live canvas.

“We’re bringing communities together and showing the benefits of bringing creative therapies for children and adolescents with trauma,” art therapist Svetlana Bykovec said.

The tractor has stopped at schools, hospitals and open spaces. Goulburn is the eighth stop on the itinerary. Yass High School was also visited.

“Often trauma itself can’t express through words. Art therapy goes beyond talking,” Ms Bykovec said. 

“Once they have something spoken about drawn, created, there’s a sense of accomplishment and more self confidence, self esteem and resilience.” 

The tractor will arrive in Melbourne on May 24 and be auctioned at Diamond in a Paintbox. Money raised will go towards The Art Cabriolet’s programs. 


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