With support from a Community Grant from Northern Rivers Community Foundation, this thoughtful project provided an artistic program, working with people living with a disability or mental illness. Through a combination of art and storytelling, ten participants were taken on an artistic journey of self-discovery and self-expression, sharing knowledge and life experiences. They gained increased confidence and felt more connected to their environment and community.
The goal of the project – Journey’s, Stories, Love – was for the participants to feel a real sense of belonging. A book of produced works and learning was created and an exhibition was held at Northern Rivers Community Gallery Ignite Studios in Ballina.
The program was developed to help participants identify and express their emotions, thoughts and feelings and personal needs through art, so people with disabilities or other disadvantages have a voice to be heard. Themes included: Vulnerability, Strength, Courage, Support, Belonging, Challenge, Empowerment and Self Discovery.
The illustrations and paintings produced in the course became the basis of a communication book that can be used for support workers, school teachers, employers and anyone who regularly interacts with the participant, so they can better understand and support the person with a disability. To see more of the stunning artwork produced, learn about the topics and outcomes, read more here
Joanne Mclean, CEO of DAISI services commented “seeing people who were previously unable to express their feelings and see themselves as capable, producing amazing artwork, but more importantly, recognising their capacity, is the gold in working with this project”
Participants developed and increased their confidence within the community and a real sense of accomplishment in the making of the works. They benefited from improved skills, connections with others, and their ability to express their feelings and emotions, increasing their capacity to seek help when needed, due to a better understanding of their own emotional needs.