Exhibition shows art’s transformative power

Exhibition shows art’s transformative power

A selection of powerful and uniquely personal artworks created by people from the Uniting Medically Supervised Injecting Centre (MSIC) at Kings Cross, will be exhibited between 20 November and 1 December.

Some of the works are by first time artists, while others have been honing their skills for several years.

The exhibition is in its ninth year and, for the first time, will be moving to 107 Projects at Redfern.

There are nearly 100 works at the exhibition, which can be bought in a silent auction at the gallery or on the auction website from 20 November.

Matt Dibbayawan is the Health Education Team Manager at MSIC.

“It’s been inspiring to see what happens when somebody has the opportunity to express themselves in a creative and public way,” Mr Dibbayawan said.

“We have one artist whose painting style has completely changed from dark and confronting to light and peaceful.”

One artist, Megan, said that she had discovered a love of abstract art.

“It is my lifeline to the possibility of a different life. The fact that buying art supplies takes priority over buying drugs says it all.”

The Uniting MSIC was set up in 2001 to prevent deaths from drug overdose and help people access treatment.

Dr Marianne Jauncey is the MSIC Medical Director. She said the exhibition is just one way the Centre supports clients.

“In our day to day work at MSIC we delight in interacting with an enormous variety of people. The annual art project just adds another special dimension.

“To support all this creative expression, and then see the framed results hanging in a gallery, makes me appreciate how much there is to unite us all.”

In 2016, the Synod meeting passed a resolution calling on governments to direct greater investment in demand and harm reduction practices and further decriminalisation of personal drug use.

This led to the Fair Treatment campaign. It now has over 60 members including union, legal, health, church and community groups as well as service providers.

Art from the Heart takes place at 107 Projects, 107 Redfern St, Redfern from 20 November to 1 December, 11am-5pm Tuesday to Sunday. The event is free.

Jonathan Foye is Insights’ Editor

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