A new book of artwork, poetry and prose from Carinity Education Southside is demonstrating the therapeutic power of creativity.
A Place of Stillness is an 88-page full-colour coffee table book featuring around 180 drawings, paintings, prints, photography, sculptural artworks and poetry created by Southside students.
Art teacher Rebecca Mennen, who oversaw the A Place of Stillness project, says creating artwork and poetry for the book was a cathartic experience for many contributing students.
Artworks and poems such as ‘New Beginnings’, ‘Her Story’, ‘I Am Enough’, ‘In My Feelings’ and ‘Change in the Air’ reflect the emotions and aspirations of the creators.
“Many of our young people suffer with anxiety, depression and trauma-related concerns. Using their creativity to express their feelings, emotions and concerns has helped some to address these issues,” Rebecca explains.
“The students engaged more with exploring themes of the self and their path through life, both painful and joyful.”
One former student, Stevie O’Chin, has gone on to exhibit paintings inspired by her Indigenous identity and heritage in galleries in Sydney and Brisbane and sold 40 artworks.
“The teachers at Carinity Education have encouraged and helped me achieve so many things I never thought I could do. They guided my passion and talent for painting,” Stevie says.
A Place of Stillness also features personal reflections from past students whose lives were positively impacted by attending Carinity Education Southside.
“Southside wasn’t just a school; it was a safe haven for so many of us, in so many more ways than one,” says past student Emily, who fell pregnant at 15 and now has a young daughter and a nursing career.
“I wouldn’t be who I am today without the lessons, love and support I was given from every single teacher and youth worker that walked with me, along my path, steering me in the right direction.”
Principal Leann Faint says Carinity Education Southside has supported young women to succeed in their schooling for more than 20 years.
“Every day these young women rise and strive for a better life, a better existence for themselves … and we are here for them, in this place of emotional stillness,” Leann says
Copies of A Place of Stillness are available for $20 (plus postage) per copy from Carinity Education Southside, with money raised to support student projects at the school.
To order your copy please call our Administration team on 3423 7499 or pick up your copy from the school at 153 Lister St, Sunnybank.