Songstress Jenny Morris is combining her two passions -“ Australian music and contemporary art -“ to stage a culturally thrilling and worthwhile fundraiser for the Nordoff-Robbins music therapy organisation.

Morris says she got sucked in to working with the organisation, which provides music therapy for sick and mentally challenged children, after attending a fundraising cocktail party. She saw a documentary about the changes that came about in a boy with Asperger’s syndrome after he was given a set of drumsticks.

To see how it gave him a connection with the outside world and how changed he was after just eight months, it was a truly moving thing, Morris, who decided to start volunteering her services with the music therapy workers at Randwick Children’s Hospital, told Sydney Star Observer.

After joining the board, Morris’s main concern became boosting the organisation’s fundraising capacity. Thinking of ways to combine all her passions -“ music, art and Nordoff-Robbins -“ Morris developed the concept for The Art of Music, a charity auction event which gets big-name Australian artists to respond to great Australian songs and create works for sale.

This year’s The Art of Music, which features artists Del Kathryn Barton, Adam Cullen, Wendy Sharpe and Gary Shead reacting to songs from Nick Cave, Ben Lee, the Go-Betweens and Cold Chisel, is set to go on public exhibition on 23 May at the Flinders St Gallery in Surry Hills. The works will then be sold off at a special event to be held at the Art Gallery of New South Wales on 31 May.

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