New Beginnings: An art exhibition in support of mental health

The benefits of art therapy are well established. Now art is contributing to health and well being in a new way.

A group of established and up-and-coming artists are coming together to bring about awareness of mental health issues. The exhibition, New Beginnings, is launching this Friday at the grand old house on the hill, Carclew, and features guest speakers Peter Goers and Sally Francis.

Contributions from each artist and the funds raised from this event will go towards the continuing and valued work of the charity MoSH (Minimisation of Suicide Harm).

A national survey of Australians aged 16-85 found that 3.2% had attempted suicide at some time in their life and 0.4% had attempted suicide in the past year. Males account for 75% of suicide and 87% of people who die by suicide have a diagnosable mental illness at the time of death.

This exhibition brings together a diverse collection of artists in support of MoSH:

Visual artist and writer, Diana Whiley says, "After a recently difficult year I turned once again to nature for inspiration and healing.  My new art pieces reflect my need for harmony, for the foundation of what nature is, breath of life and the inspiration to look forward and explore new horizons."

 Infused by Diana Whiley

Infused by Diana Whiley

Kate Erne is a self-taught artist and uses acrylic as her preferred medium. Through abstract imagery she enjoys allowing others to delve deep into their own thoughts and ideas.

Michael Johnson works in coloured pencil with ink on poster sized paper.  He particularly enjoys the challenge of working with pencils to emulate the look of oils and acrylics.  He aims to illustrate the natural world’s fragility and inherent beauty, often depicting species morphing and evolving their form in order to survive climate change, and suggesting a futuristic world where humans have become extinct.

Felicity Erne is a young student artist who enjoys producing works of the human form and body movements, of which she captures an individual and unique style utilising charcoal, acrylic, and oils.

Billy Oakley is a self-taught artist who has established a creative and intimate body of work.  His oil-based works investigate themes such as introspection, disillusionment, the exploration of mental landscapes and identifying self through portraits of himself and others.

Luke J. Johnson Luke is an Orthopaedic Surgeon by day who, in an effort to distract himself from surgery, has taken up water-colour painting. Coastal environments and the night sky are themes in his work, as they are his ‘at peace’ places to which he likes to escape.

Chris Nicolopoulos has participated in many group and solo exhibitions and continues to evolve as an artist. He sees his art as aesthetic contemplation, for the viewer to experience a sense of spiritual questioning and to allow space for a reclaiming of inner freedom.

Nicola Butler practices dotwork, using single, double and triple dots creating varying levels of intricate complexity in her works. Her work is inspired by her heritage as an Eastern Aranda, Luritja, English, Scottish, German and Swedish woman. Nicola shares, " Like life, painting is constant movement – constant change. The creation process allows my emotions to spill out onto my canvas and release."

Amanda Sefton Hogg has twenty years experience as a special projects, arts education, and public program curator. Her visual art explores the atmospheric effects of light reflected and refracted within a range of subjects, with the aim of creating an altered landscape through abstraction.

New Beginnings has brought together these artists around the unifying theme of revealing how mental health issues can affect anyone at any time. Opening night is shaping up to be a lively celebration of good art, and good health. The artists and MoSH would love to see you there.

 Light and Hope by Diana Whiley

Light and Hope by Diana Whiley

New Beginnings is at Carclew House, 11 Jeffcott St, North Adelaide on Friday 4th May 2108.  

Tickets available via Eventbrite.