New exhibition showcases the power of art therapy

Published: 28 May 2018 2:56pm

28 May 2018

A new exhibition at the Museum of the Riverina showcases the creative work of local people living with mental illness. The Art of Healing features 16 paintings and one sculpture created by artists who participated in a 10-week program to develop their skills and knowledge.

Museum Manager Luke Grealy said the exhibition is a first for the Museum and he thanked the artists and the collaborators for their effort in bringing it to fruition.

“The whole community can now enjoy the work of these talented individuals, and no doubt it will inspire others to pursue their creative passions,” he said.

Artist and co-curator Matilda Hillam has three mixed-medium works in the exhibition. She says the invitation from Sunflower House to be involved was an overwhelmingly rewarding experience.

“Art can free us; it is a process of wholeness. We are more than our diagnosis lists, it encourages the medical community, and the general public, to see the whole person.

“Art therapy in a group context can help us resolve problems, increase self-awareness, manage behaviour, reduce stress, restore health, promote creativity, support resiliency, develop interpersonal skills and build community,” she said.

Wagga Wagga City Council’s Social Planning Coordinator, Lisa Saffery said Council’s Disability Inclusion Action Plan (2017 – 2021) is all about investing in people and increasing access, to places and spaces, to employment and to programs and services.

“Many of us, or our colleagues, our friends, our families, our neighbours live with mental illness or have experienced debilitating episodes in our lives.

“The more we as a community invest in each other, the more we will see the richness, capability and vibrancy that is so apparent in our community,” she said.

The exhibition is a partnership between Museum of the Riverina, Murrumbidgee Primary Health Network, Wellways, One Door Sunflower House and the Multicultural Council of Wagga Wagga. Riverina-based art teacher Melanie Baulch worked with the artists over ten weeks to bring their creative vision to life.

The Art of Healing is on exhibition at the Museum of the Riverina's Historic Council Chambers site from 31 May to 10 June 2018.