This painting was just sold at the 2020 Mental Health art show in Gosford Australia. Every year the art show is held to give people living with mental health and their carers a chance to express themselves through art and show case their efforts at the local art gallery.
When I start working on a concept for a painting for the art show, I go through various stages of bringing my vision to life. The last three years I have also helped students that attend my classes to do the same.
We need to attach a little writeup about the piece and this is added to the painting for all to see. This year it read as follows: We all wear masks....The 'I am super successful' mask, the 'I am perfect' mask, the 'I don't want to talk' mask, the 'I'm a tough guy' mask, the "COVID mask", the 'I don't want to wear a COVID' mask, the 'I'm OK' mask.
Let's try and see the person behind the mask, lets show some humanity in these tough times. We all need a bit more "I care" and "How can I help you"
Forget about the stigma; not being OK can happen to anyone; without warning.
The art show combines two things hat are very close to my heart. Number one is art and number two is the stigma around mental health that silences the most venerable people. I have had first hand experience of the positive power of art on peoples lives. Eyes that once were empty, now alive with hope and possibility, not only in themselves but also in the big bad world.
We all need to be kinder to ourselves.......kindness matters!!!