Blue Heart Gallery

Pasifika – BAY the Artist

Gallery Location: Ground Floor, Zone A — near Allied Health and Hospital School.

Exhibition Dates: 5 October – 30 November 2018.

Image Credit: Ashton Boyd – Reading Between The Lines

BAY is an Adelaide based artist, whose work explores her Polynesian ancestry, which was unknown until she recently began to discover family she never knew existed. Mental health has a strong influence on her easily recognisable abstract style, focusing on identity and the ever present question of ‘where do I belong?’

In this exhibition acrylic paints are marbled and react with gel mediums to represent the unpredictable symptoms of anxiety and depression. Contrasting geometric lines isolate and separate the paint, giving the impression of islands, a reference to the artist’s Polynesian ancestry. The paintings are a metaphor for the isolating feeling mental health symptoms often result in, making you feel as though you are alone on an island.

Pasifika aims to further develop the cultural aspect of the artist’s original Mind Maps series. The artworks incorporate Kupesi, traditional geometric motifs used in Tongan tapa cloth (Ngatu). For BAY, it was important to connect culture and identity in this latest exhibition. The term ‘Pasifika’ refers to people that identify with the Pacific Islands because of ancestry or heritage, it is not specific to gender, ethnicity, nationality or culture.

 “I think I was born with paint in my veins!” Ashton explains.  “It has always been how I’ve expressed myself, but I think it really became powerful when it rescued me from depression. I didn’t know it at the time, but looking back, I know that’s when my art really turned a corner.”

BAY continues to be an advocate for mental health awareness and will be donating $5 from each work sold to Headspace, the National Youth Mental Health Foundation Ltd dedicated to improving the wellbeing of young Australians.

Mental Health Week is an annual, national event that aims to improve community awareness and interest in mental health and wellbeing. In South Australia, Mental Health Week events and activities, coordinated by the Mental Health Coalition of South Australia, are a reminder to ‘mind your health’ and remember that your mental health is just as important as your physical health.

Mental Health Week (7-13th October 2018) focuses on wellbeing, support and community. Everyone’s wellbeing is important. Seek support when you need it by talking to people you trust, and checking out services online such as Beyond blue or Headspace, or call Lifeline on 13 11 14. For more information on Mental Health Week visit www.mhcsa.org.au.

Pasifika will be on display in the Blue Heart and Pink Heart galleries from the 5 October to 30 November 2018. You can download the Pasifika Brochure here.

To learn more about BAY’s art practice, visit the Artist’s website or Instagram page @baytheartist

For purchase enquiries please contact the WCH Foundation by email or phone 08 8464 7900.

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