Finding an escape

I’ve had a rather emotional morning. I decided to take a walk earlier this morning before I start work and found an exhibition. The exhibition is called GLOW- ‘A collection of artwork by artists with a lived experience of mental illness’.

I have passed it before but didn’t check to see what it is about. Once I found out, I thought I would take a look inside. What I found was artwork of all styles, abilities and ages. What I liked was that there was a short description next to the authors name as to what is the reasons for the painting. Here are a few examples I thought I would share. I asked the staff of it was okay to take photos for my blog and they were okay with it. I’m never sure today what is acceptable and what isn’t, copyright and all. But I will add the artists names to each.

This was the first one I walked up to, and possibly the most humerous.

‘Funky Ladies’

‘Art helps me to cope with my everyday life and I feel good about it.’

Artist- David Carroll

‘The glow of the flowers’

‘Flowers make me very happy and always cheers me up when I am sad or alone.  I love to pick bright- glowing flowers just about from anywhere and everywhere but I know I shouldn’t. To me, flowers glow with colour!’

Artist- Jimmy Petroff


‘Art reaches out beyond psychopathology and into freedom’

Artist- Alison Ferrier

‘Next door neighbour’

‘The galaxy is our next door neighbour and I want to remind people that there is life out there full of hope and colours.’

Artist- Steven Noel

‘Delft blue glow’

‘Doing this kind of artform puts me in a state of calm and the voices quieten to the point I can’t hear them anymore.’

Artist- Natalie Neilon

‘Into the light’

‘Painting allows me to express my ideas. It’s my hobby. I have Multiple Sclerosis (MS) that has severely affected my mobility. MIFQ art exhibition allows me a safe venue to show my artwork.’

Artist- Janette

‘Jane glowing flying her kite’

‘Story is of my sister as I would like to remember her, running free having fun with her kite and how she would glow with joy given the opportunity to. Age 10 1956 to 1966.’

Artist- JCT


That last one really hit me. It is of a young, innocent girl having fun before her life is tragically cut short, however this occurred. Someone that wasn’t given the time to experience everything that life has to offer. A sister to an artist that to this day uses art as a therapy to overcome the loss and sadness this caused.

Tragically, this kind of loss is one of millions. It’s strange that one picture can make me tear up, however I can somehow go about my life knowing that this is an everyday occurance for so many families around the world. I guess one loss is easier to understand. A world of losses is almost unfathomable and much harder to process.

It is a reminder for me that we all have problems that we face daily, many problems people face I am oblivious to. It also reminds me that the problems I face daily are relatively small and that I shouldn’t let them affect me. I take inspiration from each of these artists, all with problems that they escape using their passion for art. An escape from a mind and body that we still know very little about, a mystery that we can only live with for now whilst we learn and use art as a way to express our feeling towards our existence.

I will use this these to remind myself that I need to live whilst I am in existence, for the people that haven’t had the same opportunity.


The artwork is on display during Queensland Mental Health Week, King George Square, Brisbane between 5-12th October and is free entry.


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