16 November 2016: Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute (MWI) service users are inviting people in Bermuda to come and ‘Take a Walk in My Shoes’ by visiting the MindFrame PhotoVoice Exhibition at the Bermuda Society of Arts. Featuring art, photography and creative writing, the exhibition has its opening reception on Friday 18 November 2016 from 5pm to 7pm, when the artists, photographers and creative writers will be in attendance. The exhibition runs to Tuesday 6 December.
Reilly Ingham, Art Therapist at MWI, comments: “This is an amazing exhibition of work. Not only does it demonstrate the creativity and abilities of the people who use our services, but it gives a profound insight into the lives of people who often don’t have a voice in our community. We are very excited to be celebrating our ten year anniversary of having the exhibition at the Bermuda Society of Arts. Every year brings new insights and amazing new art, photography and writing.”
Akilah Lapsley-Dyer, Occupational Therapist at MWI, adds: “Through art, photography and writing therapies, our service users grow and learn to appreciate their own talents and perspectives on life. We have provided commentaries for all the art and photographic contributions from the individuals in the show. We hope people will see those who struggle with mental health challenges through a new lens, and appreciate what these people can tell us about life, struggle and hope.”
In the voices of the contributors:
Betty Ann Pierre is an artist who has had her work displayed as part of the Charmin Award at Masterworks and through other exhibitions at the Bermuda Society of Art. Although always good at handy crafts, she only seriously started painting when she took it up as art therapy at MWI about eight years ago. She comments: “Art has made me more grounded. I feel more secure. It has made me more sharing. This has made me join different organisations. It has given me self worth. I’m like a flower blooming…People should come and have a look at what the patients have done. If you look into the art, you can see many things.”
Stefan Davis was introduced to taking photos seriously through the PhotoVoice programme at MWI about four years ago. Stefan comments: “It’s quite interesting when you take pictures, because you know your eyes see something and you use the camera to try and capture what your eye sees. There’s a lot of beauty in photography. There’s so many beautiful natural scenes around this island. It’s wonderful. It’s exciting. Now I look for photos everywhere. People will get a sense of enlightenment seeing all the different artwork that’s put on display. It’s been a good thing.”
Gino Edness has been into art since he was young. As a founding contributor to the very first art exhibition at MWI in 2006, he came up with the name ‘MindFrame’ and has displayed his artwork each year since. Gino comments: “I am a quiet person, I don’t say much,” he said. “Art makes me open – more people gather round me when I do my art. I’ve grown and my art has helped me to grow. I’d like people to see how we can work at being creative with our hands. They can learn something from us, because we’ve got a lot to give, a lot to show. I figure that people should come and see what it’s all about. I’m sure they’ll enjoy the show.”
Alana Dill had never picked up a paintbrush until she was at MWI six years ago when she was 19, and had to do an art therapy class. “Everybody was blown away at how my art comes out. I surprised myself. It has made me feel that I am actually good at something and I’m not completely useless. Art makes me feel so good inside. I feel like I can achieve anything. I want people to be inspired by the Exhibition. You can pick up a paint brush and do art – but there’s more to it than that. You have to be inspired, motivated and in the mind where you feel that this is it, nothing can hold you back. You have to be inspired and connect with your pain, your paintbrush, canvas and surroundings and it will take you to places you have never been.”