I’m sitting in the meeting room having a chat to Kadia Brown about ‘Glitterby’, a painting that will be on exhibition from the 11th to the 17th of April, as part of ‘Art of Recovery’. This art exhibition will bring together a collection of artwork that has been produced by artists with an experience of mental illness, their families and friends as well as people working in mental health.
Kadia experiences mental health distress and is a voice hearer. She tells me that art and painting aid her recovery as it helps her to focus and relax. At the time she was painting Glitterby, the voices were particularly noisy and confusing.
“With confusion spinning in my head, I started the swirls in the painting. I needed to categorise the voices to deal with them, I did that through painting the dot outlining. By the time I added the butterflies, I was in a better place. Butterflies to me mean freedom, When they came to me I was free, especially the glittery butterfly.”
Kadia has been involved in art since school. After school, she found comfort in photography and scrapbooking. She got into painting at Graylands through the Creative Expression Art Therapy.
Kadia says that art has given her and others experiencing mental illness a way to express themselves. “It provided me with a way to deal with my voices and exploring my feelings with visual means”.
Ms Brown is a resident of Ngulla Mia, a service of mental health agency Richmond Fellowship of WA (RFWA) which offers a safe and secure residence for adults experiencing mental health issues who are homeless or at risk of being homeless.
Her hope now is to be independent. She is currently studying a diploma of community services and Cert IV in youth services. She would like to be back in Wickham with her husband sometime this year and to get a job as a youth Coordinator.