Bag Lady

Bag Lady

During our stays at the Cancer Council Lodge in Adelaide, I noticed simple yet impactful gesture of adorning takeaway bags with smiley faces and room numbers.   At a place where every individual was facing their own difficult battle, I was inspired by this, I decided to channel my creativity into a project that could possibly brighten the days of those around me.

Without my usual art supplies and studio comforts, I asked the ladies for some of their brown paper bags to use for my creative outlet.  Each bag became a canvas for positivity and joy, adorned with vibrant colours and cheerful designs across weekly themes.  The process itself was therapeutic, offering me a sense of purpose amidst the uncertainty of my partner’s treatment. It was deeply gratifying to witness the joy these personalised bags brought to both patients and their families staying at the Lodge and I would often see diners re-use bags they had received previously.

Seeing the response, I couldn’t help but dream of expanding this project beyond Adelaide.  My vision is to create a national initiative where people from all walks of life come together to paint bags for the Cancer Council.  Imagine organizing paint and sip events using the humble brown paper bag — each stroke of paint a gesture of solidarity and support for those affected by cancer.  I value my belief that small acts of kindness, when multiplied, can create a ripple of hope and healing across the country.

To everyone touched by cancer—whether personally or through loved ones—I urge you to join me in supporting the Cancer Council.  Your donations and participation can make a tangible difference in the lives of patients and their families, providing crucial support and resources during their journey

My experience painting bags for the Cancer Council Lodge has taught me that even amidst personal challenges, we can find ways to uplift others and make a positive impact and I never imagined I’d be able to proudly proclaim to be know as “the Bag Lady”.

Check out the story by the Cancer Council SA and see more of the bags on Instagram @natasha_lavai_artist



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