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Celebrating ‘Who We Are’



Wednesday 10 September 2008  


Celebrating ‘Who We Are’


An exhibition celebrating art work created by individuals who are on the road to recovery from mental illness will open at the Southland Museum and Art Gallery this Friday, 12 September.

The exhibition, entitled ‘Who We Are’, features 22 pieces of art, including paintings and Oamaru stone sculptures, created by clients of the Mental Health Day Activity Centres.

The Day Activity Centres are an activity based rehabilitation service providing day activities and life skills in a safe environment – to promote the opportunities for self determination and well being.

Southland boasts three Day Activity Centres. 494D and Rata House in Invercargill are run by Southland DHB as a joint venture with Methodist Mission Aotearoa, while Gore’s Welcome In is run by the DHB in partnership with Gore and Districts Mental Health Support Group.

Activity Centre Team Manager Raewyn Clarke said centre clients have the opportunity to try a wide range of activities and crafts, including art programmes such as painting, mosaics, card making, flax weaving, stone carving, furniture making and pottery.

“For many of our clients it is about having the confidence to try a new activity and to learn life and social skills," she said.

“It is also about regaining confidence and fostering the talent of a client in a skill or hobby they may have once enjoyed but had given up while they were unwell.”

The exhibition will be the clients’ first in the Southland Museum and Art Gallery.

494D Art Tutor Sheree Gutsell said the clients had been preparing for the exhibition since the beginning of the year and had a lot to be confident about.

“We have a lot of talent here – the work produced within the day activity centres is definitely comparable with the work of other artists in the wider community.”

The exhibition will have its official opening at the Southland Museum and Art Gallery from 6pm-7.30pm on Friday, 12 September, 2008.  It will run from 12 September to 12 October, of which the last week (6-12 October) coincides with Mental Health Awareness Week.

The Theme for Mental Health Awareness Week, 2008 is:

The achievement is reaching out, bringing change and establishing confidence.

'Ko te tutukitanga, ka totoro, ka kawe kee, ka whakatau te manawanui'    


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