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A celebration was held at Te Korowai-Whariki recently to launch “What it takes to fly”, a poetry anthology written by current and former mental health consumers as well as an art exhibition which included consumers from Te Korowai Whariki.
The brainchild was Mary Campbell, Te Korowai-Whariki Consumer Consultant, who said she wanted to increase people’s involvement in the Arts. “I knew a lot of poets already because of my father [the late Alistair Te Ariki Campbell] and through that networking I also involved Apirana Taylor who came and gave a writing workshop and poetry reading at Ruamoko earlier in the year. For me it is all about participation and I had many willing people consumers and staff who helped with the book either through sending me their poems or assisting with the exhibition. The creativity was inspiring which you can read in the poetry book and see at the exhibition. The attention to detail in the art works, pottery, biographies and overall presentation of the art works not forgetting the grey green catalogues was brilliant."
Capital & Coast Board member Margaret Faulkner officially launched the book congratulating staff and health consumers for bringing people together in such a positive way. “This book will tell stories that need to be told to people that need to listen.”
Mental Health Associate Executive Director Anthony de Rose praised the commitment of staff. “It is an exciting day for us all as this project has been a long time coming. One of the objectives Mary set for us as a Directorate was getting everyone involved in an event and she must be congratulated for all the hard work she and others as well as the artists themselves, have put into organising this special event.
Writing and being involved in creative arts is a powerful healing tool, said Te Korowai-Whariki Consumer Advisor Lynda Thoumine. “Globally 25% of us will experience a mental illness and will need the support and understanding of family and friends. The writers and artists involved today hope that through their work you enter their experimental worlds and explore the ways in which engagement with the creative arts can transform lives.”
As for Mary, she’s already thinking about the next anthology and art exhibition.
What it Takes to Fly costs $20 with proceeds going towards a second anthology next year and can be ordered from Adelle Wright: (04) 918 2468.