Mental health and community arts came together last month when local residents and neighbours attended the opening of a unique art work created by local artist Lindena Robb.
A colourful, whimsical mural transformed a humble back-yard shed in Blackheath into an artistic feature for the garden.
Jewel Jones, who commissioned the work, said she had been trying to find an aesthetic way to disguise the shed for her counselling clients who look out over that part of the garden when attending sessions.
“It felt like the garden needed to have a feature to help clients have a pleasant and quirky outlook and also to have a focal point in those first moments where we are getting to know each other.”
Ms Jones said the surprising outcome was that the mural not only brought joy and delight to clients, but it has extended her engagement with neighbours and the community.
“Somehow neighbours I have rarely spoken with are popping in, the kettle is always on the boil, and I felt the need to host a celebration of what the arts can do in a community.”
She also said that she needed to look after her own mental health as part of her job, and the shed has drawn her into the back yard more often to de-stress between sessions and in down time.
“It feels different now. I’m attracted to an area of the garden that felt uninspiring and dull.”
Lindena Robb’s work in community art is well known in the Mountains and in Sydney. She has created highly visible murals in Mt Victoria and Blackheath as well as in many other locations including cafes, hospitals and schools. Her previous commissioned work aimed at hiding (rather than featuring) a garden shed, painting a panel which can be taken with the owners if they move house. On the panel she painted a garden filled with the clients’ favourite plants, making the current court-yard more attractive and completing the garden.
Ms Robb can be contacted on 0410 310 205, firstname.lastname@example.org. Her website is www.lindena-robb.com.au