Painting No. 45E – “Reaching out to Sons” by Abstract Artist Karen Robinson – 2011 NB: All images are protected by copyright laws!

Painting No. 45E – Title “Reaching out to Sons” Jan/June 11
Acrylic on Canvas
9ms Length x 91cms Wide x 3cms Deep
Painting Story: It was in January 2011, I found out about Road Trauma Support Services “Guest Speaker Volunteering” opportunities. Since then, I have been telling “My Family’s Road Trauma Story” (the loss of Ben, my son, killed in a single vehicle crash 5th November 2009) at Road Trauma Awareness Seminars. At these seminars there are approximately 15 young drivers (mostly young men) whom have been sent to the Road Trauma Awareness Seminars (RTAS) by the Magistrates Courts or by solicitors, pre-court attendance. The RTAS is run, by a Road Trauma Support Services Victoria (RTSSV) Educator, over a 2 1/2 hour period, in which time a guest speaker from SES’s (State Emergency Services) will present a story and then a guest speaker (such as myself) will present a personal road trauma story. At the beginning of the Road Trauma Awareness Seminar, the young men are full of bravado, confident and bullet proof! They really do not want to be there, but in order for them to be able to get back or maintain their drivers licence, or meet with the Magistrates requirements, or even try to avoid a jail sentence, they have to be seen to participate. During the 2 1/2 hours, we see how these young “high at risk” drivers (some repeat road traffic offenders – just like my our son) attitude shifts. After they hear a personal road trauma story and realize that they are just like Ben as a driver! Leaves them with plenty to think about, how they can change their driver behaviour, so they don’t end up like my son Ben…his family’s road trauma story…
This painting has been inspired by these “Road Trauma Awareness Seminars” and the young men and women whom attend them. There are 15 black circles, each being a young driver and within the cirle of colours, is one other, which is my son Ben. The black circles (young drivers) sit around a set of tables, all looking towards the presenters. The SES presenter is in the high left hand side of this painting, with the RTSSV Educator, down at the front next to SES presenter. And there is me, Ben’s mum, telling my family’s road rrauma story. I painted myself in grey, because it is very hard to tell my story, each and every time. I have my arms in pearl white and reaching out to these sons, sons just like my son Ben. The cirle of colour placed up on the top right corner of the painting, is part of my presentation and is the ripple effect of Ben’s death. Ben being the centre with the ripples coming out, like when you drop a pebble into a pond and the water ripples out! Within this ripple effect are Ben’s dad, mum (me), his sister and her partner (now husband), his girlfirend, grandparents, aunties, uncles, cousins, best of mates, his work mates, previous work mates, old school friends and people I have come to understand have also been affected by road trauma; the Fosterville Gold Mine workmate whom found Ben dead at the scene of the crash; the Victorian police officer who came to our door in Melbourne (Australia) and told us Ben had been killed, the Victorian (Australia) police officers who attended Ben’s crash, the SES people who removed Ben out of his car, the ambulance driver who took Ben to the Coroners, the Coroner and many more within our communities.
The colours, in the painting are about how these young drivers (mainly young men – just like my son) come into the room full of life and hope. We share a solemn message about the outcomes of road trauma – death, serious injury and possible jail sentences. But the team of “Road Trauma Awareness” are reaching out, to try and get these yound drivers, repeat road traffic offenders to change their driver behaviour, in the hope that they don’t end up like Ben – my son…
I tell my family’s “Road Trauma Story” in the hope that these young men and women, young drivers live a long, happy and safe life with their family and friends…
Abstract Artist: Karen Robinson
NB: All images are protected by copyright laws!

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