Staff at Moree Plains Gallery are thrilled that their work has been recognised at the recent Reconciliation Awards Gala. The gallery was nominated for the Mental Health Recovery Award for the recent project, 3D Access.

The 3D Access project was a series of art therapy workshops for adults and children recovering from mental illness. Run by Moree Plains Gallery’s Education Officer, Janelle Boyd, the classes explored the therapeutic benefits of art. Participants learned a range of techniques aimed at improving and informing physical, mental and emotional wellbeing, the three dimensions of healthy living.

For the exhibition of their work, participants chose to create a final 3D artwork by drawing from their experience of mental illness. Some have chosen to create a visual representation of the emotions and turmoil that define their experience, while others have represented the support they received from their family, friends and the community as a whole.

Gallery Director Vivien Clyne said, “The success of the 3D Access project lies in the strong theme of self-determination and personal ownership that governed the entire process. Participants were encouraged to become active members of the gallery community, using their work as gallery volunteers as a step along the path of recovery. This helped many overcome the isolation that can be felt be people recovering from mental illness.”

Receiving the Mental Health Recovery Award is an excellent outcome for this project. Mrs Clyne said the award brings attention to the benefits art making can have on mental health recovery. “The positive feedback from participants and now the community at large highlights the positive impact creative learning can have in the recovery process. We will continue running similar programs throughout the year.”

This award is a wonderful recognition of the hard work of Gallery staff, particularly our Education Officer, Janelle Boyd, who was also named Non-Aboriginal Citizen of the Year. Janelle has turned the Gallery Studio into an inclusive environment for our community to share and we are endlessly grateful for her hard work and enthusiasm.

3D Access was a Moree Plains Gallery initiative supported by Richmond PRA’s Recovery Integration Plan Funding.

Exhibiting Participants: Sally Butt, Kate Cobb, Tanya Sabine, Cass Turton, George Madden, Jason Mills, Raymond Saunders, Sam Botfield, Bernadette Spieram, Cody Dodson, Jeremy Smith, Jack Ross