Free art making workshops in Forbes for mental health carers

WORKSHOPPING: Artist Ro Burns running an art making session at JRV.

WORKSHOPPING: Artist Ro Burns running an art making session at JRV.

A series of free art making workshops for carers of people with mental health issues will start this week in Forbes.

The Cod-Nobori workshops will run over six weeks with respected local artist Ro Burns.

Taking a twist on the Japanese tradition of creating Koinobori (fish streamers), participants will create large decorative windsocks in symbolic exploration and celebration of their essence or the essence of their family.

Carers will learn block printing, basic fabric painting skills and with a little basic sewing, their creations will come to life and fly alongside the lake at the River Arts Festival on September 23.

The weekly workshops will run Fridays 10am to 12.30pm, starting this Friday, August 18 until September 15 at the Church in the School Yard Hall, Johnson Street, Forbes.

The free workshops are aimed at anyone who identifies themselves as a carer of someone with mental health issues, including dementia. No previous art experience needed.

Regional arts development organisation Arts OutWest has set up this and seven other local programs across the region on behalf of House with No Steps, who have provided the funding.

“Arts is a great vehicle for assisting people with their mental health wellbeing,” Arts OutWest executive director Tracey Callinan said.

“These workshops have been designed as a time-out activity for carers – those looking after family members with mental health issues, including issues such as dementia.”

Arts OutWest has built this program in close consultation with mental health and disability support services across the region. 

Health professionals will attend some of the sessions.

Arts OutWest has many years’ experience running arts projects with health outcomes and is regarded as a regional leader in the arts and health field. 

Other workshops and programs, across music, visual arts and drama, are running in Orange, Lithgow, Bathurst, Parkes, Cowra and Grenfell.

To sign up call Arts OutWest on 6338 4657 or email artsoutwest@csu.edu.au.