Local indigenous artist and 2022 Archibald Prize winner Blak Douglas has created a mural in Surry Hills inspired by the theme of community and complex mental health.
Mental health provider, Flourish Australia, commissioned the travelling mural to highlight the more than 800,000 Australians living with a diagnosis of a complex mental health issue such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, severe anxiety, or severe depression.
The mural was launched during National Mental Health Week in late October.
Flourish said the travelling mural aims to unite community around lived experiences of complex mental health. It also stressed that these challenges can be far greater for certain groups including youth, First Nations people, culturally and linguistically diverse communities, rural and remote residents, and women and children.
In his Artist Statement about the mural Blak Douglas said:
“In a barren and sometimes unfamiliar landscape, one may question optimism and drive. Only when we search for our innermost ancestral guidance are we able to move forth. Finding the path ahead means consciously avoiding unnecessary diversions and sidetracks. This piece features my signature flat bottom clouds representing a continued ‘pressure system’. The bands in the sky acknowledge ‘Seven Sisters Dreaming’ that tracks from the West coast to East. The sign in this instance, a stylised ‘F’ for Flourish and the clear direction ahead.”