Art from the Margins (AFTM) is a not for profit association that brings together disadvantaged and socially isolated artists. The visual art exhibition, Inside Outside, opens at Brisbane City Hall on September 15.

Supported by Wesley Mission Queensland, AFTM fosters the creative development of artists living with mental health issues, physical or intellectual disabilities, experiencing homelessness or facing personal adversity and social isolation.

The Inside Outside exhibition will showcase over 350 independent and group artworks by talented local artists, and will focus on the connections and parallels between the internal and external. In response, artists have created artworks that can open us up to ideas of sharing lived experiences: communicating the joy, wonder, complexity, hardships, and personal experience of humanity; from the inside and from the outside.

John Armstrong, head of the 2016 panel of professional exhibition judges is excited about the event. “Ranging from the hyper-realistic to the chaotically abstract, these artworks provide evidence of the power of creative imagination and the way in which images can communicate when sometimes words are either unavailable or unnecessary,” Mr Armstrong said. “Many places are depicted, many cultures are represented, many very personal adventures are shared. The viewer is able to find works that speak directly to the heart and works that pose intriguing mysteries to contemplate.”

One of the talented Brisbane artists featured in Inside Outside is Kathy Harwin. Her striking work titled Flourish is this year’s feature image for the exhibition; it symbolises the vision of AFTM. “Flourish is the second in a series documenting my journey to wellness and recovery after a long term struggle with an eating disorder,” Ms Harwin said about her work. “From this place of health and wholeness, I am learning to fully embrace life and flourish in the midst of any circumstance.”

This is the ninth successive year the AFTM exhibition has been part of the Brisbane Festival, with increasing artist and audience participation every year. More information on the Inside Outside exhibition can be found here.

By Catherine Sherwood
Image from AFTM facebook