Artist Statements 2023

Artist Statements


Andrew Saj “I have been painting since 2007 when I was diagnosed with depression.  I was hospitalised and started painting in the art room; I am mainly self-taught.  I have exhibited my artwork in various exhibition and locations.  I’ve been attending the art group in Salisbury for over 8 years. I enjoy attending as it’s a creative space to paint and connect with other artists. I work in watercolour, my favourite paintings are of old buildings around Adelaide; I hope you like them.”

Amy “I was blessed to be introduced to Neami Arts in 2022. Not only have I discovered that everyone can do art with encouragement. I have also met a wonderful group of people. Art gives me a space to become absorbed in beauty and forget all my trouble. It truly is a gift.”

Audrey Van Den Heuvel attends the Drawn Together Art group in Murray Bridge and quotes, ‘Expressing my feelings through art has always been important, probably my first love.  I have studied at the SA School of Arts and for an Associate Diploma in Crafts and Interior Design.  The group had given me friendships, support and encouragement to experiment with various art forms.

Betty Artis “Loves her pencils of colour, From beginners Grade to arty scholar, Stippling, hatching, back and forth line. A flourish, a burnish, details refined”.

Catherine Pallin “I have always had an art practice, but recently it has flowered. I have been a member of the Neami Murray Bridge art group for 6 years now. The companionship, laughter and creative support of the group, I love and it encourages me in my creativity. I hope you enjoy our work.”


Cecelia Kluge “Art gives an opportunity for me to express my feelings. Being able to exhibit gives a sense of achievement and excitement that I can show others my artwork.  I began art the first year Neami Drawing Together Art Group started in Murray Bridge. This group is very friendly and caring as well as being a safe place to be. We are   respectful to each other, but I mostly like the fact that we all give each other a hand. Art has got me through some very tough times! By focussing on my art, I can cope better with ‘life’.

Crystal Hart has come a long way in the 5 years she has been involved with the Neami arts program, and feels she still has a long road ahead of her; a road she is grateful to be walking on. Crystal has now been an exhibiting member of Studio 17 for 3 years and has undertaken a successful Artist in Residence programme with Neami in 2021. It took a long time for Crystal to find herself and her purpose, but now she has, she isn’t
looking back, and enjoys a meaningful and fruitful career in art, with full creative freedom. It is Crystal’s hope that she can sell her art to those who see its value, funding her endeavours so that she can continue to grow and take on bigger and bolder projects. Her work can be found at Website: and Insta:

Daniel Kean has been making art as long as he can remember. He studied at the Adelaide Central School of Art in Norwood and his favourite artists are Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali and various rock album cover designers.  He is an artist of peace and as INXS would say, “Calling all nations, put it on the line…”

Dante Ridge says “during my childhood a primary school substitute teacher, also an artist, discovered that the school yard taunts I was experiencing, were actually as a result of being colour blind. With that and other issues, I felt it was too great a challenge to even consider visual art although I was always considered a creative person. In my new venture, I have taken steps to cross this barrier.  I am self-taught and dabble in various mediums and styles drawing on my experiences and emotions to bring an understanding to things relevant in my life in areas that interest me”.

Emma Jane Hutchings graduated with a Diploma of Fine Art from the National Art School, Sydney. Her passion is painting abstracts, still lifes, sculptures in hebel and limestone, loving bright colours, experimenting with different shapes, acrylics, inks, and watercolours and having an environmental message to her work.  Emma Jane has exhibited in several Neami exhibitions and is planning on having a solo exhibition in the future.


Edwina Klaucke  “I’m always influenced about art and different approaches on what I draw and try to paint.  I enjoy attending the art groups run through Neami, they’re very useful in opening the flow of being creative. It relieves tiresome boredom or other aspects of being someone like me who is experiencing mental health issues.  The subjects I like to paint are birds, ocean life, flowers, even some designs with some
colour or patterns.  Overall, I’ve found more to achieve in art.”

Hadyn Bull is an abstract artist. He works mainly with pencil and paint on paper.  He choses human and animal subjects with a mythological theme.  “Art makes me feel relaxed and I am always wanting to improve my skills as an artist. I hadn’t produced any art since leaving high school, in 2022 I started to draw again and improving my skills.”

Jan Thomas’s art has ranged from China painting, ceramics, folk art, doll painting and for the last ten years fine art, “I mostly paint in acrylics and pastels, and have a particular passion for painting animals in pastels.” Her love of animals and concern for conservation and the environment has guided her in her paintings.

Jenny Zitzke moved by the impact of the Kangaroo Island fires, chose to explore creating a series on animals with a style that is both realistic and abstract.  It also led her to commence a course in Natural Resource Management, which further fuels her arts practice. Jenny hopes to raise money from her art to contribute towards animal welfare and firefighting organisations.

Joe Amuso always loved art, especially abstract works but didn’t put paint to canvas until later in life.  Joe’s work is inspired by pop art, colourists and naïve painters. To this artist, painting should be relaxing, fun and spontaneous.  Joe has been attending the various Neami art programs in Port Adelaide for over twelve years and successfully completed his Artist in Residence through Jump Arts.  Joe quotes, “I really like seeing new artists at the groups grow and enjoy themselves making art.  The groups are not just about art, it’s about socialising too.” Joe hopes to have his own solo exhibition in the future.

Joanne Losovski enjoys painting, stating that, ‘being totally immersed in my art is so enjoyable’. Joanne has continued her journey exploring botanical water colour painting and recently has been experimenting with acrylic fluid pour paintings, which she finds incredibly interesting too. Joanne is a regular exhibitor with the Neami art programmes over the last four years.  She is inspired by the great impressionist artists and is drawn to the use of colour and composition.

Krystyna Potaczek first became interest in art through her family, particularly her aunty.  Krystyna connects with her Polish and German heritage through her art which inspires her.  Krystyna finds art relaxing, mindful, positive, creative and real. Krystyna has practiced a wide range of art forms from making jewellery using clay to Australian
outback landscapes. Krystyna has recently started attending Studio 17 and this is her first Neami Exhibition.

Kym Hendy “I am 51 years old and was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder over 20 years ago, when I was in my late twenties. I have been drawing and painting as a hobby my entire life. My artwork has been deeply influenced by my study of global myths, Jungian philosophies and also my fascination with the tarot cards. I am also a great lover of nature and wildlife, in particular native Australian plants and animals, inspiring me to start creating a series of works based on these themes. I find that creating works which express my creative visions (of tarot and mythology) has helped with self-analysis and therapy and has led me to a greater understanding of my inner self and also a greater appreciation of my life. My artworks express my creative soul and my deep love of Mother Nature. In the future I seek to continue working on my series of native Australian plants and animals and also to further depict my interest in symbolism and mythology as an aid to my ongoing therapy.”

Kylie Douglas is drawn to painting a diverse range of subjects, always with a strong focus on bright and bold colours.  She enjoys challenging the viewer by creating Images that are different to how we thought they might look, by pushing the norms of colour.  Kylie says that her initial inspiration for returning to art was for relaxation and that it is one of the best things that she can do for her mental health.   

Lydia Craig has been an artist for over 6 years. ‘I enjoy painting, meeting with other artists and the relaxing emotions it brings to my life’. Lydia hopes to create more art to exhibit in future exhibitions.

Martin Geoghegan began painting in high school then focussed on developing his love of music.  Martin recently returned to making visual art and has been exploring
a range of mediums including pastels.  Martin wants to continue to give himself
permission to explore different styles of art and mediums without boundaries and concern for status quo.

Mel Curtis “I value the Neami art programme for providing a way back to art practice after a long hiatus”. Having formerly taken up walking as an artistic practice, Mel has interests in Mythogeography and place making.  Her collage represents interbeing and earth’s benevolence.”

 Moira Victory identifies as a disabled, queer artisan enjoying traditional crafts with a modern twist and likes to explore crochet and visible mending.  Moira draws inspiration from the world at large with specific focuses on animals and community.  For this exhibition, Moira has been exploring collage that draws on her dreams and memory.

Monty Hartman “I’m 52 years old now and remember how much I loved to draw and make art when I was six years old.  This led me to study art in high school and the
creative process was a big part of my SACC Certificate.  My practice involves sketching using graphite and ink, painting abstract acrylic sculptures. I love capturing real life and I’m proud of my work in this year’s exhibition.  It took me some time to choose which pieces to enter and I finally chose two based on the positive feedback from my family who are very supportive of my arts practice. “

PLF “I am new to making art and open to exploring all kinds of materials.  I began drawing my husband with textas in July 2022 and began painting in January this year.  I have tried water colours, oils and acrylics.  I have used acrylics the most. I have also done a WEA course on working with clay which I really enjoyed.  I have also learned to hand sew and made my ‘sensory’ pillows to give away to fiends and family. I like messy play and creating things and have discovered this about myself over the last year; I plan to continue exploring.  I have enjoyed joining the art group in Port Adelaide.  I am also considering doing a TAFE or similar art course at some time if that works out.”

Phillip Miller has a passion for photography and a very keen eye for detail.  He manipulates his images on Photoshop and loves to recreate landscapes, both natural and urban, with layers of colour and texture. Phillip hopes to create a book of his digital art work.

Rainier Hotchkiss
“My art is made on unceded Kaurna country and explores my experiences as a nonbinary, lesbian who is disabled, autistic and mentally ill person.  It is my medium for hope, reflection and advocacy for accessibility, self love and acceptance particularly in minority communities. I am inspired in my art making by my dear friend Eloise Parker who passed away in 2022 and who was the most strong, sarcastic, supportive and unconditionally loving person I knew.  For my introduction to zine-making and solidarity, I also thank the wonderful artist (and my friend) KJ Hepworth for encouragement in exploring new mediums, ever creating and being excited about what I make.  I thank another artist and friend Helen Maysey.”

Ryan Torre “I continue to enjoy taking photo’s but this has been harder to pursue during COVID. I’m grateful though, as I have found a new passion for sketching and painting’.  My work continues to become more detailed, and I find I am taking on more challenges.  My goal is to become a multimedia artist. “

Sarah Donnell is influenced by the power of nature and our relationship to it. Her artistic practice generally consists of acrylic painting on canvas, with drawing underpinning everything she does. Sarah’s work is often autobiographical and while the majority of her work weaves tales of strong female characters, such goddesses, heroines and other notable characters into her artworks she also creates work which is focused on animals, fantasy and nature, like you see here today. Inta: @sarahdonnellart

Stevan Howison is an experienced artist engaging in painting, drawing, sculpture and installations.  He has just had his first major solo exhibition at Post Office Project;
receiving acclaim for his thought provoking and emotionally charged art. 

Stuart Pinnegar  “Hi there, my name is Stuart and I would like to tell you a little about myself.  A lot of my interest is in art.  I had a lot of art early in life then gave up.  Later on I started getting back into it.  I have a keen interest in photography, charcoal, crayons, pencils and paints.  I like to experiment with most things but like painting and sketching the most.

Catherine Dauner Art is completely essential to my well-being. My intent is mostly colour & movement, influenced by the likes of Brett Whitely. I have successfully exhibited, won an art price & studied Cert IV in visual arts. Art therapy has been wonderful, and I hope to continue enjoying this gift that keeps on giving.

Mitch Iammi’s practice centres around acrylic abstract painting and sculpture drawing heavily on nature and figurative bodies.  Mitch has an extensive history of exhibiting and currently is a finalist in the South Australian Royal Art Society Abstract Art prize. This is Mitch’s first Neami exhibition at Kerry Packer Civic Gallery. 

Dale McIntyre

Dale is a Millicent based artist.

Dale loves to paint using acrylics, and

In Dale’s work, she speaks to themese of nature. However, Dale is happy to paint anything.

Dale is living with an acquired brain injury and depression from a fall. Dale started art therapy whilst in rehabilitation. Dale expressed that Art has given her the time to sit still, it was another alternative for her.

Dale hopes to one day varnish an outdoor setting, and wants to continue with art therapy.

Dale expressed that, “Engaging in arts has improved my wellbeing and mindfulness. When I engage in art therapy it helps me to relax, and I zone out completely. My daughter Carley was the first person to inspire me to be creative, followed by the therapist at the BIRU and then ‘Life Without Barriers’ Living Arts sessions.

Art therapy has helped me to fine tune my ability to concentrate following my ABI. I would encourage people to engage in Living Arts by sharing my artwork with them, and the benefits”

Art Name: Series of art pieces “Recovery Art – attention to details”

Chantel Wood

Chantel is an Adelaide based artist, with Aboriginal and Australian Heritage.

In her work, Chantel’s theme is her dog roxy. Chantel writes “my purpose of life, my dog roxy. I like to express Roxy in so many ways. Drawing Makes it looks so real, makes me happy and proud that I got to be Roxy’s owner and best friend for 11 beautiful years. We have been through so much together I wouldn’t have wanted anyone else by my side except for her”

“I drew a picture of my dog Roxy who was everything to me, since her passing in June 2023 it has been nearly impossible to live without her. My mental health has worsened living life without my beautiful Roxy girl, it is extremely hard. I will live on through Roxy, I know that she is with me all the time”.

Sara Hastings

Sara is an Adelaide-based artist

Saras preferred creative mediums are drawing and colouring in with pencils.

In her work, Sara loves to explore a variety of bright and bold colours with her Animal World

Sara states art “keeps my mind occupied and helps me to relax”

Sara enjoys doing art with other peoples so she can look at their work for inspiration.

Art Name: My Animal World


Hand Painting Title “to brave the darkness once feared”

The landscape “An artist rage turn to beauty”

“Ramblings of mind”

I am an aspiring small artist from South Australia, and I have a bit of Dutch in me, which is why my last name is that way. I’m not very connected to my family or heritage though.

My preferred medium is traditional on paper with water colour paints! I’ve had a long history of changing artistic mediums. I used to just doodle on paper. Starting doodling on my phone, to my iPad… and back to the basics with paints. I with to get into acrylic more – my entries have a bit of acrylic as a challenge.

Themes … well, cartoons like Pixar and Disney – along with Japanese cartoons (Anime) really inspired me from the beginning along with my friendship connections being artists! I watch and study lots of artist throughout social media. I tend to stick to portraits.  

My mental health journey like most others… Has been long and slow. Constantly waiting for that freedom and that final relief and you can get your life together. But it isn’t as easy as that. You can ALSO have your life together and still have mental health challenges! Mine – has been a very long and shaky … and ill be honest, dangerous journey. But, as an artist I wish to inspire those who are kind of in that deep mental health hole, Art can be anything and art s always – r at least majority of the time… therapeutic. My art has kept me on my feet for a while.

Ah, quirky facts. Well, I’m on the non-binary umbrella, I’m Demi girl and go by she/they. And I’m bisexual. I’m also a cosplayer – Which means I dress up as fictional characters to those conventions such as comic con, and I have for 10 years! Another quirky fact, I am currently and have been for majority of my life, been fighting for an autism assessment as I’ve been showing strong signs of being on the spectrum


Jo is an Adelaide based artist.

Jo loves to draw, and paint with lots of bright colours.

In Jo’s work, Jo speaks to the themes of bold, bright and colourful.

Art Name: “Colours of my world”


Unknown Artist 

  1. The first is the spiral with the seedpods – this is called A journey of awareness through reconciliation

        SA Mental health and disability Lifestyles team decided to create an interactive art piece at this years Rec in the West. The background of the piece was painted by LWB Social worker students, however all the nuts and seeds were painted by general public on the day (mainly primary School students) then stuck on the canvas. This was to represent LWB connection to community and to allow an avenue for this year’s reconciliation theme, “be the voice of the generation”, by expressing themselves through colour and cultural connection.

We chose the shape of a spiral for two reasons

In Aboriginal Culture, It represents the path from external materialism and egoism to internal awareness and authenticity. Ultimately, the spiral represents the awareness of the self and the expansion of awareness outwards. It is a highly recognised symbol of the spiritual journey. – the journey for the next generation

And in Mental health an upwards spiral can create Positive thinking and its power to self-generate positive emotions broaden one’s attention and cognition, and therefore initiates upward spirals of emotional and physical self-development and awareness.

This piece represents, community, connection, growth and awareness.

  1. The second is the Rainbow Pride Art Project 
  2. The last is the Survival and Reconciliation piece (next to the other two with the hands)