“Brushes With Life” Mental Health Art Exhibition Back In Manning For Mental Health Month

Mon Sep 14, 2015

The Manning’s annual “Brushes with Life” exhibition will be taken to another level next month with some 200 exhibitions from as many as 70 contributors.

Now in its third year, the exhibition has become a mainstay of local Mental Health Month celebrations by using art as a medium to draw attention to mental health and encourage understanding of people who live with mental health issues.

Art enthusiasts from across the Manning and other parts of New South Wales will gather in Taree for the four day exhibition which launches on Thursday 8 October.

Works include paintings, drawings, sculptures and photographs produced at a series of local workshops facilitated by Brushes with Life’s artists and event coordinator, RichmondPRA.

Participants include people who live with mental health issues as well as relatives, friends, carers and mental health professionals.

Many of the exhibition pieces have been developed at monthly workshops held in Taree throughout the year.

“We started Brushes with Life as a one-off event in 2013 and two years on it’s grown into something beyond expectation,” RichmondPRA Coordinator Kirsten Olsen said.

“It says something that we started off with about 140 exhibits and this year we’re likely to surpass 200 exhibitions.

“Art is such a powerful medium for anyone who’s been affected by a mental health issue to express themselves, and to create insight to what living with a mental health issue is all about.

“It’s also an extraordinary therapeutic outlet that encourages social interaction and gives participants invaluable senses of participation and meaning.

“Such things are critical when going on a mental health recovery journey.”

Supporters of the initiative include Manning Mental Health Service, Carers Assist, Phams, Subway, Uniting Church, Greater Taree City Council and First National Real Estate Schultz Taree.

The exhibition runs from Thursday 8 October to Monday 12 October at 16 Manning Street Taree. The public are invited to attend the launch on Thursday 8 October at 5.30pm and view works on Friday 9 October from 11.00am-5.00pm. Works can be viewed on the Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 10.00am-2.00pm.

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

Kirsten Olsen – 0448 060 661
Matthew Watson – 0417 691 884