The Wishing Well - 22.3.13

Opening at the

Serpentine Community Gallery

on Friday 22nd March 2013 is

The Wishing Well

- an exhibition by people on a healing journey.

Women find the courage

Marnie Johnston | 8th Mar 2013 9:11 AM

The Wishing Well - AN INNOVATIVE art therapy project - has allowed 27 courageous women to come together in three towns across the           region to voice their personal experiences of mental illness and weight gain.

Rohini Agnew, program co-ordinator and trained art therapist, said the women had faced potentially life-threatening health problems and subsequent isolation from the community. She encouraged the community to come along to the exhibition to record their responses to the   women's voices.

The program, funded by Family and Community Services' Community Builders program and developed and run by the Lismore and District    Women's Health Centre, works to raise community awareness of women with these experiences and encourages them to get together and      to participate in community life, she said.

"I met some beautiful women through this project who had felt isolated and trapped by their mental and physical health," Ms Agnew said.

"By offering a safe, non-judgmental community-oriented space, these women, despite their hardships, used art to identify and focus on         what's right for them."

"It was a privilege to work with these women. In this form of therapy, we learn - we allow ourselves to open up and learn as well. Art does that to you," she said.

She said that the women finally could express things they hadn't had a chance to before. They'd had a great fear of not being heard.

Here, she said, they had the chance to finally be heard.

Now the artworks that these women have created will be shared with the Northern Rivers public, with three interactive travelling art exhibitions, beginning tonight in Casino.

The travelling exhibition will visit three centres:

The Wishing Well

will be on view at

the Serpentine

Community Gallery

between 19th March

and 1st April 2013.