Jun 14
Mental Health Staff Share Their Creativity

A refreshing exhibition of charcoal drawings by Mental Health and Drug & Alcohol staff has been installed alongside paintings by award-winning Central West artist Tim Winters at Orange Health Service.

The staff artworks were all created during workshops offered by Mr Winters while he was Artist in Residence for the Arts + Health Strategy in late 2012. The Artist in Residence Program is an initiative of Mental Health and Drug & Alcohol Services and was made possible with funding from ArtsNSW.

Mr Winters gave drawing instruction to groups of staff and clients who were resident in various Mental Health units. He taught an average of twelve staff each week during their lunch breaks. Over a period of seven weeks the drawing workshops covered simple techniques in letting go, drawing with the eyes closed, “taking a line for a walk”, still life, negative drawing and landscapes.

These initial exercises gave participants confidence to extend their drawing and share their experiences. Mr Winters provided instruction on where to start and how to portray objects with shading. He also gave instruction on how to give a sense of dimension in a drawing.

Orange Health Service Arts Curator, Brad Hammond believes the results are remarkable, with Mental Health and Drug & Alcohol staff demonstrating that they are indeed a multi-talented group.

“On display are portraits, still lifes and landscapes that look totally at home among the other artworks installed throughout the Health Service.

“While these sessions with Tim Winters were not intended as art therapy, a number of staff have expressed their enthusiasm for the way in which the workshops took their mind off stressful work environments and gave them ‘a release valve’,” Mr Hammond said.

Speech Pathologist, Sarah McFetridge said it was great way to get in touch with her feelings and creative side.

“I loved coming to the sessions, as I felt as though I could breathe!” enthused Ms McFetridge.

Infant & Peri Natal Care Coordinator, Christina Hunt said she really looked forward to getting out of the office each week to participate in the program and described the sessions as great for her own mental health.

Whilst Psychiatric Registrar, Scott Hedly even described the sessions as 45 minutes of lunch time brain recharge!

The exhibition of Tim Winters’ and staff artworks has been installed at the Orange Health Service east entrance (near the coffee cart) and will remain in place until August 2013.

Orange Health Service Art and Health Strategy is a partnership between General Health, Mental Health and Drug & Alcohol Service, Orange City Council, Orange Regional Gallery, Orange Regional Arts Foundation and the community. For more information visit ww.orangeartsandhealth.org.au

 

Media Opportunity:

Media are invited to join artist Tim Winters, curator Brad Hammond and Mental Health and Drug & Alcohol staff at the eastern entrance to Orange Health Service on Monday 17 June 2013 at 9am, for the opening of this exciting exhibit.

Please contact Orange Health Service Arts + Health Curator, Brad Hammond on 0417-406-247 to confirm your attendance.