Art exhibition shifts perspectives surrounding disability and mental health

Friday, 15 November 2019

For many artists, it’s a lifetime dream and goal to have their work exhibited in a public gallery.

EPIC Assist’s (EPIC) annual art exhibition provides this exciting opportunity to emerging and professional artists with disability or a mental health condition.

Now in its fifth year, the exhibition has become a highly anticipated event, with many artists returning to exhibit their work year after year.

This year’s theme, ‘Shifting Perspectives,’ asked you to alter your viewpoint and see things in a new way. It encouraged you to consider different attitudes and to understand the artworks, the contributing artists and our place in society.

The exhibition, hosted in celebration of International Day of People with Disability, was the biggest since its inception in 2015, with over 60 artists showcasing their work at Graydon Gallery in New Farm. A wide range of mediums were featured including paintings, mixed-media, photography, sculptures and textiles.

To complement each artwork, an artist statement was included. This gave a deeper insight into what it is like living as an artist with a disability and how art has impacted the artist’s life. For many of the artists, this exhibition sparks a passion for art and helps launch their career as artists.

For artist Jasmine A Rose the exhibition was the first time her work has been showcased.

“Exhibiting in an art show is an opportunity I never expected to have in this lifetime, but one which has turned out to be a wonderful way to see my story and to redefine my identity and possibilities, while joining with others to offer the gift of creativity and hope,” she said.

This year to make the event more inclusive and accessible, audio descriptions of each artwork were recorded to ensure people who are visually impaired were included and could enjoy the exhibition.

Artist Liz standing next to her artwork
Artist Liz Stuart with her artwork ‘Badge of Honour from my Torso X-Ray Series’

Opening night saw artists and VIP guests come together to network and celebrate each other’s work. Artist Liz Stuart loved meeting fellow artists and discussing their different pathways to creativity.

“I feel honoured to be a part of this exhibition and this group of epic people. Thanks again for making me feel special and part of something uplifting and empowering,” she said.

During the night EPIC CEO, Bill Gamack, presented his CEO Choice award. This year’s winner was artist Peter Rowe for his painting ‘Looking into the Pond of Tranquillity.’

Bill considers the exhibition as one of his favourite events of the year as it perfectly captures EPIC’s mission.

“Our mission is about enabling people with disadvantage to reach their maximum potential. Looking around the gallery tonight there’s no denying that every one of the emerging and established artists who are exhibiting here has potential by the bucket load,” he said during his welcoming speech.

Bill Gamack and artist Peter Rowe standing together
EPIC CEO Bill Gamack presenting artist Peter Rowe with the ‘CEO Choice Award’

23 artworks were sold throughout the exhibition, with 100% of sales going back to the artist.

EPIC is overjoyed by the success of this event and would like to thank our sponsors: Hyundai, Zupps, Custom Fleet and Trevor Evans.

We would also like to thank and congratulate all the artists involved for letting us showcase their remarkable artwork.

This exhibition keeps growing from strength to strength and we cannot wait to start planning for next year’s event.