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MWI clients put on art show

Art therapy has helped Kevin Dill deal with the “clutter” in his head.

The 50-year-old, who has bipolar disorder, is one of the artists taking part in an art show designed to highlight the work of patients at the island's psychiatric hospital.

Mr Dill said: “It helps when I sit down and do art therapy. It's very therapeutic when you put on paper what's in your head.”

He explained that his work represented “some of the clutter that's in my head and it came out in my imagination”.

The 2017 MindFrame PhotoVoice Exhibition show at the Bermuda Society of Arts features work from Mid-Atlantic Wellness Institute clients with the theme “Share Our Space”.

Mr Dill, from Devonshire, has lifelong bipolar disorder but was only diagnosed a few years ago.

He started doing art therapy about two years ago and has submitted three pieces for his first exhibition. Whole World on My Shoulders shows a man holding up the world and Man Versus World, shows a figure dragging the globe behind him on a chain.

Mr Dill said he came up with the idea because “sometimes it feels like I've got the weight of the world on my shoulders”.

“The idea I was trying to say is that everyone has stories to share and they may feel like they're barely holding their own world up some days.”

A third painting, featured on the event flyer, shows a man and a woman and Mr Dill said he was inspired by the thought of “togetherness”.

Mr Dill has been working with occupational therapist Debbie Roof, who has run the art drop sessions at MWI for the past ten months.

Ms Roof said Mr Dill's work had progressed as his confidence increased and he started to experiment with watercolours.

Mr Dill added: “I stayed within the lines, which was hard to do.”

His work is being exhibited along with art created by 63 other MWI clients.

Occupational therapist Filipe Costa said the show aimed “to raise awareness of mental health in the community with the hope that it will help change some of the stereotypes of mental illness”.

He added that it also underlined that MWI clients “are not people doing art, they are artists” and that they were “just like everyone else”.

Mr Costa, who helped organise the event, said he was impressed at how the artists' skills had progressed and how they were prepared to experiment with different subjects and media.

The artwork includes paintings, drawings, photography and mixed media and the pieces are accompanied by commentary from the artists.

Mr Costa explained the exhibition used to be a small show in the lobby at MWI but has since grown to include double the number of artists.

It now includes users of all the MWI services, from adult mental health to child mental health, addiction services to residents of the seniors' ward.

Mr Costa added that all the money raised through sales will go to the artists.

The show will open with a special reception this evening from 5pm to 7pm and the artwork will be on display until December 12.

Weight of the World: Kevin Dill has submitted three pieces of art to the 2017 MindFrame PhotoVoice Exhibition (Photograph by Lisa Simpson)

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Published November 24, 2017 at 8:00 am (Updated November 24, 2017 at 9:53 am)

MWI clients put on art show

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