As part of the Speaking Up About Wellbeing Project, 42 young artists are going to have their art exhibited in Palmerston next week.
The artists are between 10 and 18 and were asked to create artwork about wellbeing and staying strong. They were invited to use a range of mediums including canvas, pencil, ink and digital format.
“The themes can vary but generally it’s about culture, family, being loved, the land, sea, trees and rivers. It’s so embedded in culture as the things that youth think about when feeling good” explained Kay Villaflor the Coordinator at the Palmerston Culture and Family Centre.
“It’s about capturing the voices of youth around wellbeing and what it means to them, and how they want to describe it. Also, we want to recognise the young artist in the community and give them the opportunity to get their art published”.
While most of the art sessions with the artists were held the Larrakia Nation Palmerston Culture and Family Centre, planning and working towards the exhibition has been a collaboration of many organisations that have a long history of working together. The Palmerston Indigenous Network, Speaking Links, Larrakia Nation, Grass Roots Palmerston, the Department of Chief Minister and Cabinet, Create, Department of Territory Families, Housing and Communities, YMCA NT and Department of Education.
Another exciting element to the exhibition is the printing and publishing of all the pieces in the exhibition to be included in a resource kit for wellbeing programs in the future. The kits will be presented to the artists on the night of the exhibition and distributed to the participating organisations.
“Kids do know about wellbeing and they know about what makes them feel good” says Kay. She believes because art is such an effective way to connect and engage with youth, this is something that will continue to grow in the future.
The exhibition has been funded by the Northern Territory Government through the Department of Territory Families, Housing and Communities (TFH&C), Palmerston Targeted Youth Activities Grant.