"My life has always felt like a fragmented mess. Picking up pieces along the way and making sense of it all. I can’t live without being creative but I also can’t live a day where my brain isn’t a noisy brat. I’ve adapted to this world the best I can which is a little bit strange but the most wholesome way I know how. Life was dark and I’ve made it as gentle and sweet as I can and I look forward to the future of not only my minds state but what I create for this world."
On this series:
"These pieces flow in a series of 6 telling a story of my minds experience. From the past to the now ending with the future. When I had a trauma break down about 6 years I found myself unable to paint watercolours or draw refined pieces any more. My heart broke but I pushed myself to create because that’s what helps me feel alive. During this time I picked up a biro pen and drew jaggered and scary bodies bending around themselves. I re-visited these figures in this work with a much lighter and beautiful story. Many of the images shown are also based on hand poked tattoos I gave myself during this time. I let go of any rules I used to hold myself to with painting. I was a huge perfectionist often feeling agony over the tiniest slip up. I broke all the rules I had set myself before trauma and found this process incredibly healing. Some of the pieces I can barely look at but I’ve challenged myself and put it forth to push myself out of my comfort zone.
"My creative practice is a safe place for me to articulate my inner experience. I approach my work with a kind of softness, creating a space in which I’m able to be vulnerable. The pieces I have selected for this exhibition touch on different aspects of my experience with mental health, from crises to comforts."
Bel Short is an artist living and working on Kaurna land, with lived experience of anxiety, depression and panic disorder. Through her creative work, she aims to connect with others who have been through similar experiences, while also hoping to reduce the shame surrounding mental illness.
Nigel Matejcic is an emerging artist in Adelaide. His mediums are varied, including painting, drawing and ceramics. The theme he explores in his work is unconditional love. He says,
"My lines are imperfect yet loveable. I create lines which are non-symmetrical without the judgement of looking good or bad, they just are. This experience is a metaphor for human life as we too are perfect in our imperfection."
Nigel's career highlights include being commissioned through Umbrella Studio Contemporary Arts and supported by the Regional Arts Development Fund to create a mural in Umbrella's Studio. His artwork, 'Cityscape,' was shortlisted in the 2019 Footscray Tertiary Art Prize. He also in 2020 donated ten artworks to the Townsville University Hospital.
Adelaide based painter, Luke Hunter, uses humour and darkness to send a message through his graphic pieces. Luke experiments with texture and text to create pieces that confuse and delight. His art reflects a modern day interpretation of the neo-expressionist movement from New York in the late eighties and early nineties.
Luke shares with us his innermost thoughts and feelings, opening us up to a visual representation of the most common mental health issue facing someone you know right now; anxiety.
This is Mali Isabel. She is a twenty one year old Arabana and Kokatha woman from Port Augusta and is now based in Adelaide. Mali’s main focus is visual arts including painting and drawing but she also completes photography and videography, sculpture and ceramics, and much more.
Mali loves that art is a way for people to be creative and express themselves in a safe non-judgemental space of complete freedom. All of Mali’s art is based on the hidden meaning of equality, which is the reasoning behind the emphasised use of her rainbow colours. Mali focuses her art on topics such as racism, discrimination, mental health, diversity and feminism, along with many other important topics.
Mali uses her platform to promote positivity, happiness and kindness. Mali uses her art as a way to depict her reality to others and express her perspectives and opinions on topics that she has had experience dealing with throughout her life. Throughout Mali’s art, she always encourages people to keep an open mind. Mali’s goal is to change the world and make it a stronger and more equal society for all. Treat people with kindness.
Facebook: Mali Isabel Art
"I started 2020 with a sense of creativity, clarity and a renewed confidence in myself as an artist. Then came the catastrophe of COVID-19. The challenges of isolation highlighted areas of my life which were not healthy and made me acknowledge the need for healing, therapy and looking inward for a greater sense of direction. While this year has been difficult, it has also allowed me to develop an awareness of my own mental health challenges and realise it is not a linear journey.
Art is a strong catalyst for expression and awareness in the mental health healing journey. My own art is always an expression of my own mental health challenges. Through my art, I feel a sense of connection to others with similar experiences from which deeper understanding and communities can arise.
The mindshare Group exhibition is a fantastic way to celebrate inclusiveness around mental health and the part creativity can play in creating supportive communities."
Sianne van Abkoude
An illustrator by day, and often by night, Sianne's work is a gentle mix of observation and sentiment. Lately she's been exploring the world of digital illustration by drawing the things she loves and misses—her family and friend's faces—and the things around her—the scrambled leaking thoughts that give a small insight into living with an anxiety disorder.
"I am a Gunditjmara woman, born and raised on Kaurna country. As a First Nations woman I am blessed to have my mother's stories and the blood of all the women before me coursing through my veins. It is in their honour, that I centre their unique knowledges, and privilege their voices and stories in all my work."
Harry is a ‘fighter’ and a ‘gifted artist’ with his own unique style of drawing. When he works as an artist he calls himself ‘Budah’, perhaps reflective of the calm and meditative experience his creative process provides him.
Harry has lived with severe anxiety and depression. When Harry was young, he started drinking to calm down and control his thoughts.
Today, he draws to calm himself down and to control his thoughts despite his physical and mental difficulties. While he draws, he listens to his favourite music, hip-hop, and the walls in his room are filled with hundreds of his amazing drawings, which represent his journey to mental health recovery. Harry’s goals are to reengage with community and to build healthy positive relationships. This is his first time sharing work as part of an exhibition.
This collection has been named ‘From the Mind of Budah – what my eyes see!’ and is a collection of some of his favourite works to date. These characters hold no hidden meanings and have no individual names, but you are welcome to greet them and get to know them yourself.
Alex developed this story, inspired by her love of adventures, nature and the fantasy realm. Through Alex’s lived experience of mental illness, she has found creative expression a constant remedy to express and divert her mind to a colourful and happy place.
This story comes accompanied by artworks of characters and scenes from her story about Anabelle’s journey into a wonderous and fantastical world. A place to feel safe, inspired but always expecting the unexpected!
Rob Lockett is an auto-didactic visual artist with interests also in photography. He says he always loved art books as a kid but now that he is semi-retired he has more time to give it a go.
Joe Amuso always loved art, especially abstract works but never 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.
Daniel Kean has been making art for as long as he can remember. He studied at the Adelaide Central School of Art. 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.’ Daniel hopes to have his own studio one day.
Nadine Chapman has recently started using water colour paints after being influenced by her younger brother who introduced the use and techniques during one of their catch-up sessions when experimenting with different art mediums.
Crystal Hart quotes,
‘I have been creating art on and off my whole life in one form or another. I have often found that art is the only way I can process complex feelings. Never constricted, I use several different mediums, traditional, digital, music, writing."
Jarrad dreams of one day being the Dennis Driver. After school on Thursdays, they go tracking Dennis along his route. Dennis is no regular boy, he's the big boy, says Jarrad.
Lynette Hartman has worked on developing many new techniques to manipulate her images in Photoshop. She is creative and has a natural talent when capturing images with the camera.
Jenny Ann is a new intuitive artist who enjoys mainly mixed media, watercolours and graphite. Her latest artworks are in watercolour. Venus Pandema Delicious is a spiritual concept regarding universal karma towards all of humanity, and mankind learning the lessons of mindfulness towards each other and the environment as a collective without any tools to fight back but their own sense of community and unconditional love.
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.
Andrew Saj quotes,
“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 work in watercolour, my favourite paintings are of old buildings around Adelaide, I hope you like them.”
This artist has been creating art over 3 years and enjoys this form of expression. They appreciate how to define line and mix colours whilst using pencils and paints. Their art work reflects an appreciation for their cultural heritage.
Ryan Torre quotes,
‘I would like to continue studying photography. I like to take pictures of people and nature. I like the beach and the zoo too.’
This is Ryan’s first exhibition with Neami National.
Leon has taken on the challenge to painting with oils from acrylic and his technique is improving consistently. To Leon, painting brings him peace of mind. He finds [Neami Arts] groups relaxing and enjoys engaging with other like-minded people.
Ashton Schilling is originally from the Great Southern of Western Australia and is now living in Murray Bridge after having lived in Perth, Melbourne, Mooloolaba, Mt Tom Price and Coober Pedy.
‘Art is omnipresent, within and without. Its inherent creative qualities help to see the bigger picture.’
Catherine Pallin was first guided by Sydney artist Michael Herron to explore drawing age 7 and painting at age 15. Michael is still a strong influence for her. Currently she has been working in collaboration with artist Gareth Thomas to create works using ochres, pencil and pen. She also does work in bold acrylic colours in bigger canvases.
"I have been painting with the Neami group for 6 years.
I did this work in Collaboration with Gareth Thomas, an artist from the Blue Mountains. We have an ongoing collaboration of work, back and forth. Sometimes he paints the background and I paint on top, or other times, like this example, I paint the background and Gareth paints on top. Our artwork travels by post back and forth.
It is quite challenging painting on top of someone's artwork, but has some beautiful results. It is worth the risk."
Audrey van den Heuvel
Audrey van den Heuvel attends the Neami "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."
Bianca Kennelly embarked on a self-taught odyssey that delved into sculpture, painting, weaving, felting, leather work and jewellery. Bianca turned to art full time to “Bring back a sense of joy and achievement.” As such, her works are enormously varied in media and subject, “but always interesting (to me.)”
Bonnie Retallick has enjoyed painting since she was 4. She loves to paint because amongst her depression painting is one of the things that make her happy. She has been attending the JUMP Arts group run by Neami National for 6 months.
Cecilia Kluge quotes,
‘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’.’
Elaine Roberts quotes,
“I absolutely love going to art group, I make new friends and build my skills and I am getting better and better. I enjoy trying new things and I have recently fallen in love with vibrant Pastels’’.
Emma Jane Hutchings
Emma graduated with a Diploma of Fine Art from the National Arts School, Sydney. Her passion is painting abstracts, loving bright colours, experimenting with different shapes, acrylics, inks, and having an environmental message to her work. Emma has exhibited in several Neami exhibitions and is planning on having a solo exhibition in the future.
Fran Sellick has been attending Neami's Comet Arts group for several years and enjoys the dynamic environment. Fran’s work can range from distorted watercolour forms to still life in acrylics and oils and this is the first time Fran has worked with air drying clay to create. Fran quotes,
“I am inspired by nature especially notions of biodiversity and conservation.”
Betty has been attending Neami's Comet Arts group in Elizabeth for several years. She began painting with acrylic producing portraits and is now embracing coloured pencils as an art form. Betty enjoys new challenges and looks forward to where the opportunities will take her.
Caroline has been attending the Neami Visual Arts programs for several years and loves to create art using her own unique drawing style. This is her third exhibition with mindshare.
Jan Thomas’ 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.
In regard to Jan’s art piece called Great Southern Bight Ocean she quotes, “these are some of the fish and corals in the great Southern Ocean of Australia, which are threatened by continuing pressure from companies to oil drill there. It is the reason I painted this as it is important to me.
Joanne Losovski loves colour and using different tones and shades, especially when painting flowers. She attends the workshops at JUMP Art and is inspired by the other artists in the group. She is influenced by the great Impressionists artists and would like to further develop her style and continue to enjoy painting flowers in both acrylic and watercolour mediums.
Lindy Thai has been developing her art style from a young age. She enjoys experimenting with different mediums and drawing inspiration from unexpected sources for visual storytelling. Her artwork can be found on instagram @sanilyst.art
Lydia Eden quotes,
"I see my art as an emotional, visual language, not just to paint & portray, but to evoke feelings and connections & engage with others. A haven to escape to and find inspiration. An expression of who I am. Always working towards a sense of understanding & growth through my work. Recently I began attending [Neami National's] JUMP Arts workshops classes which allows me to express myself without judgement, at same time learning new skills & enjoying the class."
‘I joined [Neami National's] Jump Arts during 2019 as an emerging artist having focussed on sketching and painting with acrylics. I am influenced by things around me, life in general and the challenge of new mediums and techniques which allow me to be colourful and creative. I particularly draw inspiration from visiting community murals. I am ‘driven to make art’ and being creative takes up a lot of my thinking. When not creating art, I spend time with my animals and immersing myself in the outdoor environment.’
Phuong-Cac Nguyen joined Neami's JUMP Arts program at the end of 2019. At school she enjoyed art lessons and continued with classes until the end of year 10. Phuong-Cac enjoys making craft items following abstract designs and colours. She likes to incorporate nature as a theme where possible.
Victor Edwards enjoys attending the [Neami National] Art groups in Port Adelaide when possible. They love to connect with people who have similar artistic interest.
“I like character design, surrealist and Abstraction art.”
Victor states these as their three main influences.