Minds Do Matter exhibition returns to QVMAG

The therapeutic properties of art are being put in the spotlight as part of a new exhibition at Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery at Inveresk.

Minds do Matter features more than 100 pieces from artists around the state, including a mix of sculptures and paintings.

Wellways sponsor the exhibition, which is designed to explore the relationship between art and wellbeing while also reducing the stigma associated with mental illness. 

QVMAG director Richard Mulvaney said the standard of works was exceptional.

“I’m director of an art gallery and I still can’t believe the high quality of these pieces,” he said.

“There is a portrait of Nick Cave that I think could win the Archibald prize.

“It just shows that this exhibition is actually about art, and not tokenism.”

Artists for this year’s exhibition were invited to submit works based on the the theme of inspiration.

There was no shortage of it for Morgan Tuma, who completed her painting ‘Reflections’ across four weeks.

Ms Tuma developed a disabilily following a cancer diagnosis seven and a half years ago.

Her artistic journey began at Tasmanian Acquired Brain Injury Services about five years ago where she began art therapy.

Having started out as an acrylic artist five years ago, she has since expanded onto other mediums.

Her painting of a boat in the shallows marks the fourth time her art has been included in Minds do Matter, but reflects a different direction for the artist, who has previously focused on painting wild animals.

She credits art for helping her through some difficult circumstances.

“I think branching out to paint landscapes has helped my mental capability, as well as my cognitive therapy.

“It allows me to use my visual issues to my advantage, because I am used to them more now.

“I’m also able to process my thoughts better.”

While Minds do Matter has been at QVMAG for the past two years, it has been featured in galleries across the state for nearly a decade.

Wellways regional manager John Edwards said the positive effect art can have on mental illness widely acknowledged.

“It can be a real cathartic way of expression when there are no other means in which to do so,” he said.

“It’s a way for people to communicate about what is going on with them emotionally.”

Minds do Matter had its official opening on Friday night and will run until October 29.

For more information, head to http://www.qvmag.tas.gov.au.