Art show to shine a light on mental health

Callum HunterSouth Western Times
Paul Schaffer, Creative Connections tutor John Pasco, Sharon Blythman and BRAG education officer Amber Norrish are all excited about the Mental Health Week exhibition.
Camera IconPaul Schaffer, Creative Connections tutor John Pasco, Sharon Blythman and BRAG education officer Amber Norrish are all excited about the Mental Health Week exhibition. Credit: Callum Hunter / South Western Times

An exhibition to be held at the Bunbury Regional Art Gallery next week will help celebrate Mental Health Week and raise awareness.

Organised by the gallery along with the Blue Tree Project, Pathways South West and the Mental Health Week 2019 Consortium, the exhibition will launch on Monday with 80 pieces from professional and amateur artists.

“The reason why the mental health exhibition is so significant is because it’s open to everybody,” BRAG education officer Amber Norrish said.

“It’s about celebrating art as a way to connect, heal and share our stories with each other.”

The 80 works set to go on display have been taken from all art mediums and will be displayed in the gallery’s dance halls and on the upper walls.

Pathways South West support worker Kerry Starnes said art increased health and wellbeing through social and community participation and team work.

“It builds confidence and self-esteem, it has diversional and therapeutic benefits and it empowers people and enhances their social inclusion by providing opportunities for all to participate in the artistic and cultural life of their communities,” she said.

Some of the works set to be displayed have been contributed by the Gallery’s Creative Connections students, something program tutor John Pasco was proud of.

“The whole mental health issue is everywhere and we need to de-stigmatise it, we need to get rid of it,” he said.

“We’re all people and we all have transitional times and art will actually get us through it more than anything else.

The exhibition will launch on Monday and run until October 27.

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