This article was first published in the Daily Liberal (Dubbo) on Monday February 1, 2016.
Pictured: Pen to Power curator Jack Randall, team member Toni Grant and Tim Carr from Neami Dubbo
By ORLANDER RUMING
While recovering from a health challenge is often a private battle, 49 community members have used their experiences to create evocative and powerful art.
Pen to Power- Map Your Mind to Recovery is a new interactive exhibit at the Western Plains Cultural Centre (WPCC) which documents the journey to better health.
From sculptures to canvas to affirmations, one of the focuses of the exhibit is to reassure those who are suffering that they are not alone.
Tim Carr from community mental health service Neami National said while people may have been through similar experiences, they were all unique.
"This was a way to express what their journey was to them and get people together to realise on a deeper level that we're all in this together," Mr Carr said. "One of the overarching themes of this exhibit is that change is a continuing natural process. It's just like the seasons of the year. In summer we're a little happier, in winter we're a little more down, we sleep more, but it's all part of the cycle and we know summer is coming around again."
Pen to Power team member Toni Grant said they wanted the exhibit to be inclusive, not just for people with an art background. "We were talking about mind mapping and we realised it hadn't been used in this art therapy way before. It's an alternative way to help people," she said.
Curator Jack Randall helped the participants turn their ideas into art, as he said the creative process could sometimes be daunting. Mr Randall said he wanted the exhibition to prompt people to talk about mental and physical health concerns in "a regular way".
The exhibition is sponsored by The Rotary Club of Dubbo South and Neami National. Pen to Power- Map Your Mind to Recovery can be viewed at the WPCC until April 24. The official opening will be held on Saturday, February 6, at 2pm.