Ross Memorial Hospital to show works by artists who have struggled with mental health

Artist Terry Batemen displays his dot artwork. He will be among the artists for the "Reflections of My Mind" artshow at Ross Memorial Hospital Oct. 3-4. Ross Memorial Hospital photo

A collection of artwork by artists with lived mental illness will once again be showcased at Ross Memorial Hospital in Lindsay, Ont.

The hospital on Tuesday announced the return of the “Reflections of My Mind” exhibit, which was last held in November 2019. The exhibit in the hospital’s main rotunda will feature artwork by artists who at some point in their lives have accessed mental health services through either (or both) the hospital and the Canadian Mental Health Association’s Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge branch.

This year’s exhibit will be on display Oct. 3-4 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day.

“Art therapy involves the use of creative techniques such as drawing, painting, collage, colouring or sculpting to facilitate self-exploration and understanding,” said Jennifer Cockburn, a mental health outreach worker at Ross Memorial.

“Using imagery, colour, and shape as part of this creative therapeutic process, thoughts and feelings can be expressed that would otherwise be difficult to articulate. The Ross is excited for these artists to have an opportunity to display and sell some of the work that has assisted them along their healing journeys.”

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Artist Terry Bateman has done dot art, or pointillism, for nearly two decades. He says art is “very soothing” and offers an avenue to work out angst.

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“And when you’re done, you feel like you’ve accomplished something physical,” he said. “Art provides distraction, a much-emphasized skill to cope with mental health. Art also allows me to have good experiences and interactions with people where we have something in common to talk about.”

Artist Karen Underhill makes jewellery and repurposes old jean jackets with customized accessories. It all helps her to “escape” when needed.

“Not only does doing art make me feel good of what I have created, it also helps my mental health by just escaping what is upsetting me,” she said. “I absolutely love what I do.”

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A portion of the art sale proceeds will be donated to Kawartha Lakes Food Source. The exhibit is a cash-only event. There is an ATM on-site.

Jack Veitch, manager of the CMHA HKPR branch, said art plays a significant role in the health and wellness of a community.

“Art pieces and art shows like ‘Reflections of My Mind’ bring community members together and foster a sense of connection and collaboration,” he said. “Using art as a means of expression and self-care is something we recommend to many.”

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