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Artworks with an inspiring story

Artworks with an inspiring story

Scores of striking artworks, which tell the story of the artists’ journeys of recovery from mental health and addiction, have gone on sale in Wellington.

The 170 artworks, ranging from paintings and drawings to mixed media and sculpture, are being exhibited in the foyer of the Michael Fowler Centre as part of the Building Bridges National Community & Addictions Conference.

The exhibition, with most of the works for sale (priced from $50 through to $2,500) was organised by Wellington-based artist and art educator Rosemary Stokell.

Rosemary, whose own paintings in the exhibition reflect her personal experiences of mental health challenges, contacted support organisations across the country which provide art facilities for people with experience of mental health or addiction.

“The response was incredible,” she said. “The most amazing work flooded in from across the country. It ranges from charming naïve pieces to extremely sophisticated and technical work. Most pieces are for sale and the prices are extremely competitive for this quality of artwork.”

Many Wellington-based artists have contributed work and exhibits range from vivid oil paintings of the city’s cable car to detailed Goldie inspired portraits.

Marion Blake, Chief Executive of Platform, the organisation representing mental health and addiction NGOs countrywide, said she had already snapped up a mixed media artwork.

“The work is fantastic. Art is often the soul work of recovery and many of these paintings also tell the story of living with mental health and addiction and of recovery.”

Wellington Artist Grant Visser was inspired by Marilyn Monroe’s struggle with depression to create a large stencil representation of Monroe’s smiling face in highly stylised pink.

“It think it is interesting that on the outside and to the public she is an icon of happiness and beauty,” he said.

The exhibition is open to the public and will run until 3pm Friday April 16. A reception will be held at the exhibition at 5.30pm on Wednesday April 14.


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