Articles on this page with permission from GREG WANE, are taken from the Barwon Heads,Ocean Grove, and Wallington news .Issn 13290371
 Published by Whistler Publishing
PO. Box 358, Ocean Grove
Editor Greg Wayne

Lisa Floate - dual personality

by Gillian Gubbins

LISA Floate, the artist, is a quietly spoken, gentle person of exceptional talent who creates aesthetic artwork, usually using pastels, to reproduce the picturesque coastline and beaches of the Bellarine Peninsula.
In contrast, Lisa Floate, the comedienne, who visits hospitals and nursing homes dressed as a clown or Fairy queen, is cheeky, outgoing and funny - her weekly visits are eagerly awaited by those she entertains. wh28.jpg (22034 bytes)
A resident of Barwon Heads for the past 23 years, Lisa, a mother of 3, the youngest 17, has now time to pursue and make viable her long time hobby of painting. She is strongly supported by her husband Graham, who not only expertly frames her work but who has recently completed building a light and airy studio adjacent to their house. Lisa can now enjoy the luxury of not having to pack up her paints and unfinished works in order to make space for the rest of the family's belongings and activities.
For many years, Lisa has painted for her own enjoyment, but following commissions from friends, and after undertaking a short course using pastels, she has gained enough confidence to publicly exhibit her work. A number of her seascapes are hanging in the Barwon Heads Post Office while her painting of the historic Barwon Heads jetty building can be seen at the Eagles Nest Gallery at Aireys Inlet.
Lisa's involvement with the voluntary hospital entertaining group began 3 years ago when a friend attended a workshop held at Lorne by the celebrated American doctor, Patch Adams, whose therapy includes visiting his patients dressed as a clown, complete with red nose! (Many readers will remember actor Robin William's portrayal of this doctor in the very popular film of the same name).Aware of the advantages gained by addressing disabled and ill patients with homour and lightheartedness, a group was formed - the Patch Clown Group which at present consists of 6 members but which would welcome the involvement of more fun loving volunteers.
The growing popularity of these sojourns has resulted in the average time spent by Lisa at the hospital or hostel increasing from 3 to 6 hours. However she still never fails to be exalted by the reaction from the residents. Her daughter Susan, a Bellarine Secondary School student who has at times accompanied her mother, both as a pianist and dressed as a clown, agrees that the appreciation of the patients of the fun and frolics makes the extra time spent "on the job" well worthwhile.
Many of the patients are not ambulant and some cannot speak but all express their pleasure with gestures when the visitors appear. Some prefer the musical items, others the jokes and story telling but each time Lisa pulls a rabbit out of her top hat, this age-old trick produces smiles all around.