‘Run with it’ is a new exhibition at the New England Regional Art Museum that has provided local people with an opportunity to create and display a series of artworks responding to their experiences of dealing with mental health issues.
“The practice of producing art is a powerful therapeutic tool in the treatment of mental and physical illness,” said Armidale artist Ned McDowell, the Artist Run Initiative (ARI) project co-ordinator. “It is a vehicle in which to re-establish confidence, reignite imagination and re-instil self-worth.”
“Art is also a perfect non-confrontational platform in which to raise awareness, education, discussion and understanding about these disabilities.”
‘Run With It’ supports the professional development of artists with either a physical or mental health disability. This also includes artists who are their carers, family or friends.
The year long project’s principal aim is to broaden skills and opportunities for artistic development, and provide information and support future planning on how to make a successful career as an artist.
Under the tutelage of the art teacher Ross Laurie, each of the fifteen participants has produced a large number of high quality art works.
The ‘Run With It’ initiative climaxes with a group exhibition which will be on display from Friday 23 September until Sunday 16 October at NERAM.
The works in the exhibition are on sale with 20% of sales commissions being directed towards assisting in the future financing the continuance of the program through 2017.
The project is supported by Accessible Arts, a peak arts and disability organisation, in partnership with Beyond Empathy and Arts North West and has been facilitated by Ned McDowell.
Ned McDowell, Mental health is just not Black or White