30 September 2020

“I feel inspired by the depth of the stories demonstrated in the art that has been exhibited. To be able to express how you feel through the arts is incredibly important, the opportunity should be available for all. Thank you for the stories that have been so beautifully demonstrated in these amazing pieces.” Jennie Burns, Director Western Australia.

A few weeks ago we reached out to the local community in Western Australia and asked people with lived mental health experiences to share their artwork with us. We are absolutely blown away by what has been sent in! We received over 40 submissions from Life Without Barriers participants and from other people in the Western Australian community. We were thrilled by the number of submissions we received and some of the stories people shared with their submissions are truly inspiring.

Stacey Price, Western Australia Mental Health Program Manager, had the following to say. “I’m amazed at the entries we have received and grateful to the artists for their expressions. Art can mean many things to different people and for me, this is the beauty of it. Thank you to all of you that took part – we’re very grateful to be able to showcase your creations.”

Whether people shared a little or a lot about their pieces one thing is clear, art is so soothing and a real outlet for peoples emotions. We are honoured to share them with you.

Find the artwork below grouped by artist in no particular order.

Joan H

Image: 'Celebration' by Joan H

Image: 'Shopping at the Markets' by Joan H

Image: 'Sunflower' by Joan H

Bernie H

“My artwork is a friendly reminder that it’s perfectly fine to feel emotions, it’s all part of being human.”

Image: 'It's Okay to not be Okay' by Bernie H

Angel D

Image: 'Mermaid in a Bowl' by Angel D

Valarie C

“My art represents a grandmother's grief at the loss of connection with her granddaughters. I painted it for all those grandparents who, for various reasons, are unable to see their grandchildren.  It represents the pain that we all feel but keep hidden. Art gives me a way to express those feelings of grief that would otherwise overwhelm me and gives a voice to other grandparents who have lost access to their beloved grandchildren because of Family Court Issues.”

Image: 'Grandmother' by Valarie C

Dean B

“Art means creativity and artistic flare. The tiger I painted is strength and courage. The kangaroo is a symbolic animal to Australia. Being an artist is my hobby and job and I love doing it whenever I can.”

Image: 'Tiger' by Dean B

Image: 'Kangaroo - Australian Fauna' by Dean B

Melisa B

“I find it very soothing and therapeutic to do colour in shapes and vibrant colours”

Image: 'Pop Art' by Melisa B

John M

“My name is John and I am 71 years old. Three years ago, I was diagnosed with mental health issues whereby the police picked me up at home and forcibly took me to Joondalup Hospital to spend time in the Mental Health Unit there. Later on, I was put into the Adult Mental Health Unit at Osborne Park where I spent two weeks on suicide watch. I have had a team of mental health experts looking after my welfare ever since.

Prior to the Covid nightmare, I used to get picked up on a Monday morning to be taken out for a trip with other patients with similar mental health issues. Once Covid set in and brought with it severe travel restrictions, the team looking after me thought it was best if I take up a new hobby to keep my brain active and functioning. Accordingly, I took up painting.

I have never held a paintbrush in my life prior to starting painting 3 months ago. I find same very therapeutic and relaxing. I thoroughly enjoy getting into a new world of vibrant colours and shapes which in turn brightens up my mood and helps lessen the depression from which I suffer. My artworks are acrylic on stretched canvas.

I used to own a thriving business which unfortunately I had to close-down three years ago due to mental health issues. Having lost my income stream brought on severe depression as the transition from a wealthy businessman to becoming an aged pensioner was a hard pill to swallow.

Now, thanks to my mental health team...and my new-found hobby, plus the addition of further grandchildren, the future is looking bright.”

Image: 'Aye Aye' by John M

Image: 'Busselton Jetty I Survived Cyclone Alby' by John M

Image: 'Uluru - Smack Bang in the Middle' by John M

Kelvin D

“My abstract work is entitled 'Firedance' which is my interpretation of the ballet 'The Bewitched Love' written by the Spanish composer Manuel de Falla in 1915. For me the movement of colours represent a rhythm of the highs and lows that we've all been through, which must be celebrated. No one ever had it easy and it's when we realise this and be grateful for what we are and have, our body would be in perfect harmony with the soul.

For me art is liberation of the mind and senses. I don't like to define any aspect in my work and this is something which drives me to explore what I could come up with. The end result brings immense fulfilment about creating something that I never could have imagined. The attached piece is acrylics on a 40 x 50 cms canvas using brush strokes and palette knives and is un-framed and initialled by myself. More of my works are up on my Facebook page please like/share.”

Image: 'Firedance' by Kelvin D

Dina J “I enjoy keeping my sister company...who is in lockdown living in Victoria. We hop online sharing our artworks several times a week. Great way to pass the day together. My medium is mostly watercolours...here are just a few.”

Image: 'Little Girl' by Dina J

Image: 'My Grandson' by Dina J

Image: 'Portrait' by Dina J

Robert L

“A friend and I participated in a Monday Outings Group held by Joondalup Older Age Mental Health last year. I am a keen photographer and that is my art. The piece entitled ‘Not used but not forgotten’ I captured near sunset last November in Jurien Bay, WA.”

Image: 'Not used but not forgotten' by Robert L

Image: 'Moonlight at Castle Rock' by Robert L

Image: 'The little house in Wanneroo' by Robert L

Annarine C

“I am deeply inspired by the ocean and nature. The moon has a special feeling in my heart and I chose the name ‘Mahina Art’ for my business because it translates to the moon in the Tongan language. I have an art studio in the Kingdom of Tonga and another in Western Australia. I enjoy the looks on people’s faces when they see my completed works.” To see more or purchase any of Annarine’s work, visit Facebook Page or Instagram page.

Image: 'Untitled 1' by Annarine C

Image: 'Untitled 2' by Annarine C

Image: 'Untitled 3' by Annarine C

Allison J

Image: 'Bright Sun' by Allison J

Image: 'Teapot' by Allison J

Allison W

“The story behind my artwork (‘Trapped’) is that you are the person and you are trapped and there is no way out. No matter how much you try to get out there is no escape. It’s being a person who is trapped and you can try your hardest to get out but there is no way out at all. All the pain is stuck within you and you can’t get out.”

Image: 'Trapped' by Allison W

Image: 'Clay Bowl' by Allison W

Ian I

Image: 'Injection' by Ian I

Cathy D

Image: 'Dockers Mosaic' by Cathy D

Chris B

Image: 'Hello World' by Chris B

Shane E

“It was Ecology Week in America when I painted this. Arrows were pointing at new life, a flower blooming. I go to a disability art group once a fortnight. I enjoy the outcomes, I can see the outcomes of my art.”

Image: 'Untitled' by Shane E


Image: 'Unity' by DB

Eli V

Image: 'Untitled' by Eli V

Tamara B

“I find art soul soothing.”

Image: 'Love' by Tamara B

Image: 'Untitled' by Tamara B


Image: 'Ocean' by Ellie-May

Jo B

Image: 'Psychedelic' by Jo B

Karen P

Image: 'Inspiration' by Karen P

To enquire about purchasing any of the pieces exhibited here, please call Clare on 08 9492 6818  or email clare.henderson@lwb.org.au.

Mental Health services

Life Without Barriers offers a number of mental health services in select communities across Australia

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