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Carousel Gallery

Bounce Back Exhibition as part of Mental Health Month: “Good Friends Help Us Bounce Back”

Property Donor: The GPT Group

about Carousel Gallery 21-30 Oct 2010

Carousel Gallery is a community art program, presenting Bounce Back mixed media exhibition in conjunction with Mental Health Month. Mental Health Month begins in October 2010 and has a theme of “Good friends help us bounce back” with a longer term theme of building resilience.

The Bounce Back exhibition (21-30 October 2010) showcases metal sculpture, paintings, drawings, ceramic and mosaic produced by clients of mental health services from both government and non government organisations in the region.

Opening Night: Thurs 21 Oct, 7:00-8:30pm

Exhibition period: 21-30 October 2010

Gallery open: Tuesday – Saturday 9:30-5:30pm

The show is curated and managed by Alan Johnson, who is a young Occupational Therapist working at Morisset Hospital in the Bellbird garden and creative arts space. He has been working with staff from Bellbird in conjunction with other community partners associated with Hunter New England Health.

The Bellbird garden and creative arts program consists of a garden, nursery and creative arts space. Occupational Therapy staff work with the clients from Morisset Hospital to participate in horticulture, visual arts, meal preparation and physical activity. Through these activities clients are able to develop valuable social, vocational and living skills as well as allowing an outlet for creative expression. This is a pre-vocational program aimed at providing clients with skills that may assist in re/entering the work force.

The program also provides opportunities for productive and enjoyable use of client’s time during extended hospital stays. Activities include the maintenance of a vegetable garden and nursery and creative arts activities such as mosaics, ceramics and sculpting. This program is a strengths based, patient focused initiative that is designed to build skills in all those involved.

Working in the garden can be cognitively and physically challenging. Clients use, and improve their problem solving skills, social skills, concentration, planning, organisation, perception and dexterity. The Bellbird program gives clients the opportunity to practice and refine these skills as part of their rehabilitation.

The proceeds from the sale of garden and nursery produce are utilised to purchase materials for creative activities. We also rely on donations and the generosity of the community.

Previous community outreach programs of the Carousel Gallery include “Stop the World I want to get off”, an exhibition at Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery.

When Alan heard about the Renew Newcastle initiative, he felt it would be the perfect platform to exhibit some of the great work that his clients were producing, and has teamed up with several other mental health service providers and organisations such as NRAG to bring the show together.

“Being involved in community projects allows us to raise awareness of mental health issues and our service at Morisset. Some of the benefits to our clients include: community integration, socialisation, pre-vocational training, recreation or artistic outlet for self-expression.

Our aim is to continue this manner and style of working and to continue to give the participants the chance to become involved in the many areas that Bellbird offers. We are hoping to give the participants the chance to demonstrate to the wider community that they are more than just an illness.”

The exhibition will be staffed by Bellbird staff and the artists who have produced the work, so when you visit you will be able to hear about their work first hand.

Opening Night: Thurs 21 Oct, 7:00-8:30pm

Exhibition period: 21-30 October 2010

Gallery open: Tuesday – Saturday 9:30-5:30pm

If you have enquiries about the exhibition or the Bellbird program, contact Alan Johnson [email protected]