Locals from Manning and Great Lakes contribute to 2017 Mental Health Month’s “Brushes With Life” Art Exhibition

Wed Sep 20, 2017

One of the state’s premier regional art shows - Flourish Australia’s annual “Brushes with Life” art exhibition - is back to lead local Mental Health Month celebrations in 2017.

Now in its fifth year, Brushes with Life involves a series of art workshops which have been running in The Great Lakes and the Manning since February. This year’s workshops have been held in Cundletown, Forster and Blackhead 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.

The exhibition will be launched at 5.30pm on Friday 6 October at a location to be announced, and remain on display until Tuesday 10 October – International Mental Health Day.

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


Media outlets are invited to shoot exhibition participants working on various pieces, and conduct interviews.

WHEN: Thursday 21 September, 10.00am-1.00pm.
WHERE: Uniting Church Hall, Cundletown.


Chis Cassar – 0404 572 499
Matthew Watson - 0417 691 884

Flourish Australia is a not-for-profit organisation providing support programs, employment, accommodation and hope for more than 5,000 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.