GARDENING is healing for mosaic artist Tina van Raay, whose Campbell garden is her expression space, art gallery, meditation zone and respite for friends and family.
Tina’s art-filled garden will be open to the public on Sunday, November 10, to raise funds for the Canberra Refugee Support Group, which helps refugees to settle into the community.
“Supporting refugees now has become extremely challenging as many don’t receive any support from the Federal government,” she says.
“Our organisation is stretched beyond belief, so we are pulling out all the stops to increase our funds.”
A quiet, cottage-style garden backing on to Mount Pleasant nature reserve, Tina says it has a country feel that she loves.
“The garden has formal elements, and over the years it has become a combination of plants and mosaics,” she says.
“I feel very centred whenever I’m out here. I think it has a role to play as a healing space, it’s not just decorative.”
While Tina has previously done garden design, she says her own “just evolved”, with a Celtic cross centrepiece, three ponds, an Italian-inspired mosaic day lounge and a large vegetable garden and composting zone, which is her husband Rob’s pride and joy.
One of her favourite spots to sit is on her handmade mosaic “froggy bench”, overlooking the pond and flowers towards shady trees, which conceal an arcade of stained glass “where I can’t get anything to grow”.
“It’s like a memory walk for my friends and family, I created each piece with someone so everything has a story,” Tina says.
The open day will include gift stalls of handmade mosaic mirrors, stained glass lanterns and beaded garden “danglies”.
Coffee, tea and cakes will be on sale in Café Milala, set up on the back deck and run by Afghani girls who were helped by the Canberra Refugee Support Group in the past.
Tina’s mosaic garden, 28 Vasey Crescent, Campbell, open Sunday, November 10, 10am-4.30pm. Entry fee is $10, concessions $5. All funds raised will go to the Canberra Refugee Support Group.
Photos: Holly Treadaway