Local artist’s exhibition showcases ‘art therapy’

Cathy McEwen’s ‘Lost in the Moment’ is included in the Alice in Dunderland exhibition

Everyone knows the story of Alice in Wonderland.

Well, one Wagstaffe local is putting her own spin on the classic tale through a new exhibition called Alice in Dunderland.

Art Therapist, art curator and anthropologist, Karen Adler is set to host her exhibition at Tuggerah’s Red Tree Theatre from June 22 till July 6.

Adler said the exhibition will feature paintings, photography, multimedia projects, upcycled Mad Hatter Tea Party furniture, clothing, fabric art and assorted quirky bits and pieces.

“It’s my satirical look at our political leaders and I use the story of her adventures to illustrate my own journey through life,” Adler said.

“It’s also about showing people that there are different ways with coping with the stresses of COVID and not just relying on medications.”

She said a good example of this message is present in the painting, ‘Lost in the Moment’ by Yattalunga-based artist Cath McEwan, as it portrays that feeling of surfacing after drowning in stress and breaking through.

The exhibition is also hosting an education forum using the documentary, Letters From Generation Rx, directed by Kevin P. Miller.

The documentary focuses on the overuse and over prescription of psych medications and the link between them and suicide and homicide.

The event will also host a livestream, offering a chance for audiences to participate in a Q and A session with the documentary director.

Adler said the documentary is about people whose lives have been significantly affected by prescription medications.

“This doco shows the horrendous consequences of prescribing medications for the slightest of reasons and also shows the journey for getting a response from mental health services,” Adler said.

The Q and A session will be held on July 21 at 9am, and afterwards patrons will be able to explore the rest of the exhibit.

Adler, who has been an art therapist since 2010, said she was inspired to get involved with it through her own experiences with grief.

“Art therapy in a nutshell is about making the unconscious conscious, there is a lot more that will come out through expression, and it can be released through artwork or writing,” Adler said.

“I have run classes for this after I studied Art Therapy and I have worked in exhibitions that have gone around the world.

“Quite often there is a lot of surprise from people who participate in art therapy, the arts are a very marginalized profession for most and the vast majority of people don’t think they have any artistic talent.”

Harry Mulholland

1 Comment on "Local artist’s exhibition showcases ‘art therapy’"

  1. Karen Adler | June 18, 2021 at 12:37 am |

    Thanks Harry for the article, very nicely written and summarised. I hope you can make it along to the education forum, journalism has a major role to play in the dissemination of these alternative ways of dealing with mental health crises.

    Much appreciated, Karen

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