Mental Health Month art exhibition

Flourish Australia’s annual Brushes with Life art exhibition is back to lead local Mental Health Month celebrations in 2017, opening at 5.30pm on Friday, October 6 on the corner of Victoria and Commerce Street in Taree.

The exhibition will remain on display until International Mental Health Day, on Tuesday, October 10.  

Now in its fifth year, Brushes with Life involves a series of art workshops which have been running in the Great Lakes and Manning River areas since February.

This year’s workshops have been held in Cundletown, Forster and Black Head Beach.

Some 60 participants are preparing more than 200 art works which will go on display in Taree in early October.

The works include paintings, drawings, sculptures, photographs and paper mache pieces.

Participants include people who live with mental health issues as well as relatives, friends, carers, mental health professionals and people with a general interest in art and mental health.

“We’re showing yet again that art is a wonderful therapeutic outlet for people living with mental health issues,” Flourish Australia manager Chris Cassar said.

“Art brings people together to enhancing wellbeing and social inclusion, while also reducing stigma and enhancing understanding around mental health.”

Flourish Australia artistic facilitator Jules Richardson said the stories behind each piece are informative and fascinating.

“Each art work says so much about mental health from a personal perspective,” Ms Richardson said.

“Brushes with Life is by the community and for the community. We invite everyone to come and have a look at these inspiring displays.”

Starting in 2013, Brushes with Life has become a cornerstone of local Mental Health Month celebrations.

Supporters of the program include Manning Mental Health Service, Carers Assist, Phams, Subway, Uniting Church and MidCoast Council.

Anyone interested in producing art works or attending the exhibition can contact Carolyn Williams on 1300 779 270.

Flourish Australia is a not-for-profit organisation providing support programs, employment, accommodation and hope for more than 5000 people with mental health issues in New South Wales and Queensland.

Advocating community-based assistance, it is a leading mental health support provider that has been in operation for 60 years.