Virtual show keeps Coasters together

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A virtual art gallery is helping people socially connect while they are required to isolate from home.

Kyle Wisniewski, Gold Coast Bulletin

A VIRTUAL art gallery is helping people socially connect while they are required to isolate from home.

Gold Coast organisation Primary and Community Care Services (PCCS) have taken their art exhibition ‘This is Us’ online to continue to engage with people and maintain morale in the community.

CEO of PCCS Dr J.R. Baker said ‘This is Us’ is the culmination of weekly art classes that also actively fosters social connections for people with psychosocial disabilities such as depression, anxiety and other long-term mental health conditions.

“As we know one of the biggest risks for mental ill-health is social isolation, so continuing with the launch of our art show is very important to us and to the people who created these beautiful and expressive pieces,” he said.

“Social factors are often overlooked when evaluating someone’s health, but our brains are actually wired to crave connections.

The art program is a part of Plus Social which PCCS and Gold Coast Primary Health Network (GCPHN) launched on the Coast in July 2018, and since has helped hundreds of people.

GCPHN CEO Matt Carrodus said the artwork program is an exciting way to connect participants during this particularly challenging time with COVID-19.

“Referrals into the program are still being accepted and we encourage those with a severe or persistent mental illness in need of support, to contact their GP to discuss their suitability for a referral,” Mr Carrodus said.

The gallery can be found at ThisIsUs.gallery with most artworks for sale with proceeds going directly to artists.