The launch of the Reflecting Through Art Project 2013, an exhibition under the auspices of Cork Mental Health Foundation, takes place on 7 March at Cork International Airport. Approximately 60 artists will showcase their work.

The project, which is open to anyone using the mental health services throughout Cork City and county, aims to encourage creative activity, raise the profile of the artists, increase awareness of talents, and use art as a bridge between artists and the wider community.

Patricia Walsh from Ballinhassig is showing two paintings at the exhibition and says: ‘For me to express myself since I got sick has become more difficult because I’m aware of the stigma attached to mental illness, yet I won’t hide the fact that I’ve been unwell. I’ve met so many beautiful, sensitive people through becoming sick — people who were so misunderstood.’

Cork Mental Health Foundation established the Reflecting Through Art project in 1996. A voluntary body, the Foundation aims to promote positive mental health and create an awareness and understanding of mental health issues.

Brendan McCarthy, development manager at Cork Mental Health Foundation, says: ‘Any of the artists will tell you this exhibition empowers them and gives them a sense of purpose … To be able to put their name to art, under the auspices of the Mental Health Foundation, gives them a great sense of ownership of their issues. It goes a long way towards recovery to say: “This is me, this is my art and I have experienced mental health problems.” ‘

Reflecting Through Art will remain on display at Cork International Airport for six weeks before moving on to various venues throughout Cork City & County.


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