THERAPEUTIC WORK: “Confused Emotions” by Jan Robinson will be on show at the Wishing Well exhibition in Ballina.
THERAPEUTIC WORK: “Confused Emotions” by Jan Robinson will be on show at the Wishing Well exhibition in Ballina.

It’s art for therapy

TWENTY-seven courageous women participants in the Wishing Well project, an innovative art therapy project developed and run by the Lismore & District Women's Health Centre, have come together in three towns across the region to voice their personal experiences of mental illness and weight gain.

And their art will be on exhibition at the Kentwell Community Centre on the corner of Moon St and Bangalow Rd in Ballina, with the exhibition opening on Friday night, April 5, at 6pm.

The women have faced potentially life-threatening health problems and subsequent isolation from the community.

The project has worked to raise community awareness of women with these experiences, and has encouraged them to get together and to participate in community life.

Rohini Agnew, program co-ordinator and professional arts therapist, encourages community members to come along to the exhibition to record their responses to the women's voices.

"I met some beautiful women through this project who had felt isolated and trapped by their mental and physical health," Rohini said.

"By offering a safe, non-judgemental 'community' orientated space, these women, despite their hardships, used art to identify and focus on 'what's right for them'.

"As a group, they shared and developed relationships with each other to find self-acceptance, and have gone on to make positive personal choices for their future. Many have enrolled in community health and lifestyle programs.

"Now they are sharing their voices with you, their community, and are inviting you to respond, with 'what's right for these women in our communities'. Please come and let them know they have been heard."

The exhibition will run until April 8.


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