Faculty of Health

Unique exhibition promotes positive mental health

An exhibition aimed at creating conversations that promote positive mental health in rural communities has commenced its journey around Tasmania.

The Rural Art Roadshow is an annual collaboration between the University’s Centre for Rural Health and mental health service provider Wellways.

Building on the not-for-profit’s recent Minds do Matter exhibition in Launceston, around 40 selected works from the showcase created by people affected by mental illness, will tour rural communities over the coming month.

Each township will host an official opening event that will be attended by an exhibiting artist who will share their personal experience, alongside mental health workers.

Centre for Rural Health Director Dr Tony Barnett said the artwork was a way of beginning conversations around mental health that could importantly continue outside each community’s gallery.

“The exhibition aims to build resilience, reduce stigma and promote a positive image of mental health in rural Tasmania by showcasing art submitted by community members who have been impacted personally or indirectly,” Mr Barnett said.

“Through the conversations it will foster, we can begin to create rural communities which are more welcoming and understanding about mental health.”

Mr Darren McKay from Wellways said the project significantly expanded the reach and benefit of the Minds do Matter exhibition into rural Tasmanian areas.

“This exhibition explores the relationship between art and wellbeing by celebrating art’s power to be life-enhancing and life affirming,” Mr McKay said.

The Rural Art Roadshow will be showcased in each community for a period of one week.

EXHIBITION OPENING DATES:

Smithton: Tuesday, 31 October 2017

George Town: Tuesday, 7 November 2017

St. Helens: Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Fingal: Tuesday, 21 November 2017