Message of hope

Laine Hogarty's seaweed art. (Supplied) 246941_01

Beachgoers were met with a pleasant and uplifting surprise this week when they were greeted with a message of hope made from seaweed.

Ocean Grove artist Laine Hogarty had constructed the message along a wire fence that said ‘It Will Pass’.

“A few years back, I was going through a really difficult time and was about to change my life radically by moving from our region,” Hogarty said.

“One day when I was in a moment of worry, the words ‘it will pass’ came clearly to my consciousness. I believe this was a divine message from God, to help me make good choices, based on having faith – not fear. It gave me a lot of hope at that time, and helped me to hang in there.

“And I am so grateful that I did, as during this pandemic, I feel super blessed to live here.

I knew on Sunday morning that the message I was given was for others too.

“So many people during this pandemic have found themselves pushed to a breaking point. Some have lost their homes, their jobs and have experienced relationship breakdowns and identity crisis.

“Mental and emotional health affects us all, it is one of the communities greatest challenges in this pandemic. The words ‘iIt will pass’ are so relevant.”

Ten years ago Hogarty created a seaweed artwork at Collendina beach called ‘Kelpie’.

“I illustrated nine dogs along the fence where the seaweed gets caught,” she said.

“This was my way to make something joyful for the community to help them reflect with gratitude on how wonderful life is here. Many people loved this artwork and thanked me for creating it.”

Hogarty said it took eight hours to complete the piece, starting at 2pm on Sunday and working until 7.30pm and returning the next day to finish.

“When I got to the beach the final letter, which I had only outlined the night before, had already been filled in by some of the public,” she said.

“I took that action, as a sign that the work was loved and appreciated by people and that they valued the message. I spent another three hours on the beach on Monday morning tweaking the letters and finalising the work and chatting to people. I had lots of amazing interactions..

“Some were taking photos to post to their friends and others said ‘thank you, we love this’. People got the message, and what I was trying to do, which was to be a voice of encouragement.”

Justin Flynn