A guest contributing to the Colouring in Mandala section during the “Art Works: Heartworks” event. Image: Rafidah Hamit

A three-day interactive art showcase dubbed ‘Art Works: Heartworks’ took place last weekend, linking art, creativity and its effects on one’s well-being.

Organised by Open Hearts and supported by the Creative Core BN, the event was held at Avenue41 in Kiarong and featured pieces by local artists displaying their take on mental health.

The artworks include Colouring in Mandala and Voice Your Opinion Wall from artists such as Karen Leong, Corina Yeo, Michelle Fung, Ira Ali, Aklil, Bazilah Suhaili, Maw, Mad Nycer, Wan Mayang and Nadiah.

A few pieces by local artists displaying their take on mental health. Image: Rafidah Hamit

Founder of Open Hearts and registered Art Therapist, Nadiah Suhaili, organised the event to raise awareness on alternative ways to enhance the well-being of individuals with mental health concerns.

“I’ve worked with individuals from different walks of life and experiences from trauma, depression, anxiety, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease,” she said.

She found that using art in a therapeutic context allows clients to express themselves and discover the psychological and emotional unconscious that is often difficult to articulate.

One of the art pieces at the showcase. Image: Rafidah Hamit

“I find that in Brunei, it is tough for people to express their feelings and with the rise of the creative industry in the country – integrating art with mental health is one way to bridge people together,” she added.

The virtual space Avenue41 saw displays of more than 10 artworks depicting the artists’ experience, vision, thoughts and message to those with mental health issues.

“From this exhibition, I’m hoping that people will talk more about mental health; it’s not something you should be afraid of, we should [continuously] start talking about it.”

Decorations set for the ‘Art Works; Heartworks’ event last Friday at Avenue41. Image: Rafidah Hamit

The event also saw workshops and talks by Nadiah and Todd Mcpherson, a counselling psychologist from Clarity, focused on topics such as anxiety and depression which are prevalent issues in the young generation today.

The workshops were curated for high school and sixth form students as well as members of the public.

Present during the event was Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS), Yang Berhormat Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Hj Aminuddin Ihsan Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Hj Abidin and representatives from the Occupational Therapy Department of the Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Saleha (RIPAS) Hospital.

YB Dato Hj Aminuddin contributing to the Colouring in Mandala section during the “Art Works: Heartworks” event. Image: Rafidah Hamit

The Bruneian | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

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