13 Aug 2015
By Wright Communications
The exhibition will run from 21 August to 1 September to showcase the artwork of children who, through Family Works Whangarei services and art sessions, have been given an outlet to express their personal stories. Entry is by koha, with all proceeds going toward art materials and renovations of the art workspace used by the children and young people.
The collection features 15 to 18 life-sized portraits created by children and young people through the art therapy sessions provided by Family Works. The artworks tell the personal story and dreams of each child.
Family Works Whangarei Service Manager Margie Matthews says the exhibition is a celebration of the resilience of the children, youth and families who have been supported by Family Works' counselling and social work services.
"Some of the children and young people we see have experienced trauma and challenging life circumstances; this is their opportunity to tell their stories and be heard."
Meg OHalloran, who has a background in arts and runs the art sessions, says children and youth who have experienced trauma often don't want to talk about their experiences.
"The positive thing about art is that there is no right or wrong answer, which is empowering for the children. We use colour, symbols and metaphor to help them externalise the pain and lighten the load."
The children and young people have painted their unique perspectives of the world around them, concentrating on three themes: worries and concerns; dreams and goals; and emotional resiliency and strengths. They also identify the one major emotion that bought them to counselling.
Family Works provides counselling and social work services for families with children aged 0-17 years. Team members have diverse skills and offer art, puppetry, and cognitive, behavioural and narrative counselling to address issues such as violence, trauma, anger, grief, loss, anxiety and stress, focusing on each child and their whānau's needs.
The artworks are not for sale. If you know a family who needs extra support please contact Family Works Whangarei.
Family Works Northern builds strong families that learn, grow and thrive. Our social services help make Aotearoa New Zealand the best place to raise children. Services include counselling, social workers in schools, budgeting advice, emergency food parcels, family dispute resolution and group programmes for women and children affected by family violence. As part of Presbyterian Support Northern, we're committed to creating a better life for everyone.
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