Authors: Kristina Tito, NSW
Event: 2009 TheMHS Conference
Subject: A MEANINGFUL LIFE, SOCIAL JUSTICE, SOCIAL INCLUSION, Partnerships
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: The Insideout Gallery has been developed by working in partnership with artists/consumers, the Art Services at Macquarie Hospital, the Schizophrenia Fellowship of NSW, Ryde Council, Ryde Community Mental Health (RCMH) and the Northern Sydney Education Centre (NSEC). The goal of this paper is to introduce this new initiative to a broader audience and to explore the concept of facilitating an arts-based community psychosocial model. It will introduce artists/consumers who have experienced mental health issues, their artwork and the importance of their personal ownership and direction over their own creative process. The paper will look at the importance of artistic creativity, identity and social justice, within the context of this initiative and that of a broader social inclusion into the mainstream ‘Art World’. In this paper the value of focusing on strengths and abilities, rather than pathology and disability within an artistic context, will challenge the prescription of patient and hopefully invite new insights into ‘what is considered a meaningful life and meaningful art’. The Insideout Gallery’s primary mission is to support skill development and provide exhibition space, with an aim to enhance positive connections with the local and broader community. This paper aims to promote understanding and recognition of the creative strengths of people living with mental health issues.