Artist Jasmine Sarin had some reservations when she was first asked by GPT Group to paint an artwork that reflected the company’s values.
“I was a bit sceptical at first, thinking it was just a corporate that came in and made buildings and left,’’ says Sarin.
Sarin had come into contact with GPT, after one of the members of the group’s Reconciliation Action Group Tiarne Shutt emailed her for a coffee after seeing her artwork in a stall at Sydney’s Glebe Markets.
But after reading up on GPT, Sarin was impressed when she discovered the company’s long-history of seeking to engage with the communities where it has assets.
She was impressed when she discovered that GPT had a “mission of not just creating buildings but spaces and looking at how we create our communities, how we live in our communities”.
GPT’s shared value approach struck a chord with the Kamilaroi and Jerrinja woman, given its focus on enriching the communities where it operates as a key business objective.
“It’s about bringing different stories from different places together and creating communities and building a history of a place,’’ says Sarin of her artwork Gathering Place which now hangs in the lobby of GPT’s headquarters.
The artwork, Sarin says, is much like GPT’s buildings where people and stories from different places came together to build a history of a particular place.
“The smaller circles represent smaller communities and places when they start out. And as more people are moving between them, they start to get bigger and the history of a place starts to get bigger,’’ she says of the artwork.
“In Aboriginal communities we’re not just one community. We have multiple families that make up a community, we utilise different services and organisations which make up part of our community,” she says.
Each circle represents each of the various elements that make up a community interact with each other.