Entries are now open for the Indigenous category of the 2011 Cancer Council Arts Awards, which gives Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people touched by cancer an opportunity to share their experience creatively through art, writing and film.
The Indigenous category, which was introduced six years ago, is open to artists of all standards and entries normally range from painting and photographs to video works, craft and sculpture.
This year's theme is 'I Am'. Whether it be directly or caring for a loved one, cancer journeys invoke a range of emotions from anger and denial, to fear, hope and even joy. It can also affect how you perceive yourself and others. 'I Am' allows people to reflect on how they feel, and how they identify themselves, having been touched by cancer.
Other categories at this year's Arts Awards include Visual Art, Short Story, Film, Poetry, and Youth and Children's Writing and Art.
Cancer Council Victoria's Aboriginal Education Program Coordinator, Leanne Adams, said the Arts Awards are open to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who have faced cancer, whether directly or through a loved one.
"Cancer presents an enormous physical and emotional challenge for our people in the community affected by the disease, including patients, family, friends and carers," Ms Adams said.
"The Arts Awards bring together people who have been touched by cancer, and can also raise awareness within the community about how to prevent cancer," she continued.
Last year's Indigenous award was won by Casey Sweetman (aged 19), whose artwork highlighted the linkages between the many people in the Indigenous community affected by cancer.
The winning artist in each category will receive a $1000 cash prize; the winning pieces and many of the other works entered will be displayed in a touring exhibition that begins 10 July in Melbourne and travels throughout regional Victoria including Frankston, Korumburra and Geelong.
Entries close on Friday 8 April 2011. For more information and details of how to enter visit www.artsawards.com.au or call 1300 65 65 85.