Stories of Place

A Community Storytelling Project
October 2020 - June 2021


When we share our stories, we tap into one of our most vital human impulses: to make sense of the world and our place within it.

Stories of Place is a community storytelling project designed by Bravewords, in collaboration with Treehouse Art Studio. During the first Covid-19 lockdown in 2020, when people felt most isolated, we invited older Central Coast residents to write a story about a local place that was special to them. A school-age artist then read that story and created an artwork inspired by it. The two had a Zoom conversation so that the artist could learn more about the storyteller to enrich their illustration.

At first, some of the young students were shy and the older writers quite nervous to talk remotely across a computer screen to someone they didn’t know. It was a little awkward. But they began discussing the older writer’s story in more depth, sharing ideas about design elements that might work in the picture — their creativity broke the ice.

In times of isolation, stories bring us together. When we share our stories — with family and friends, or with interested strangers — they become a starting point for deeper conversations. We begin to have more meaningful exchanges beyond the usual chit chat. We are heard, we relate, and we feel less alone.

Stories of Place has been a delightful experience for everyone involved, but the real outcome has been the connections formed across the generations through creative practice and shared landscape. Thanks to sponsors 5 Lands Walk and PJ Donnellan & Co., Stories of Place has been able to reach a wider audience.

There are so many stories alive in our community. Often, they only get told if someone asks. Many end up lost forever. Our living history lies dormant in our landscape and within our houses. Layers of knowledge sit quietly, rich veins of wisdom running through, just waiting to be passed on. Times change, places develop, but human experience remains the same: love and loss, dreams and disappointment, turmoil, upheaval and solace.

We are not alone. Our stories connect us.

Adrienne Ferreira, BRAVEWORDS