Healing art of self-expression in Benevolent Society's exhibition

Express yourself: Local people living with mental illness are invited to submit art for the Benevolent Society's annual See Me Hear Me art exhibition. Picture: Jeff de Pasquale

Express yourself: Local people living with mental illness are invited to submit art for the Benevolent Society's annual See Me Hear Me art exhibition. Picture: Jeff de Pasquale

FOR Liverpool resident Warren Draper a picture truly is worth a thousand words.

It is something he plans to prove at the Benevolent Society's annual See Me Hear Me art exhibition.

For much of his life Mr Draper has suffered from depression.

It was not until recently that he discovered something as simple as a blank canvas could allow him to express his inner-most feelings.

"If people can't vocally express themselves, creating art really helps to do that," he said.

"Sometimes if you are too chicken then you can hide, which is what I have done.

"By expressing myself through my art I have been able to grow. And I now believe we all should do that."

Mr Draper recommended others living with a mental illness to explore art as part of their journey to recovery.

"I try to tell people that it doesn't have to be fantastic art," he said.

"You just need to try.

"In my works I try to get people to think. I am not trying to tell people what the meaning is — it is up to them."

The exhibition's co-ordinator Wies Schuiringa said artworks would be on display from September 2 to 12, at Liverpool City Library.

"There is still a couple more weeks for people to get in contact with us and submit an artwork," she said.

"The exhibition See Me Hear Me is a way for people to be seen or heard, and to communicate something.

"It is really fantastic to see what comes out because every artist does it in their own way."

Artworks can include drawings, paintings, sculpture, multimedia and poetry. Submissions close August 11.

Details: Call Wies Schuiringa, 0439 024 397 or email, wies.schuiringa@benevolent.org.au.

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