There is more to the Brainwave exhibition than meets the eye.

The contributors all have brain injuries and have produced the arts and crafts in Step Ahead Therapy's supported classes in Rotorua with tutor Martyn Evans.

The exhibition opened at the Rotorua Arts Village on Wednesday night - much to the excitement of Evans' class members.

Missy Henry, who suffered a brain injury as a child, said this was the first time she had had art displayed and it felt "great".


"It's cool, I'm quite proud ... I have just been doing it this year and I hope to make some more with the group in future."

Each item is labelled with the name of the creator and a brief summary.

"Constructed from moss and string. Missy loves the soft feeling of the moss and enjoyed moulding them into shape", are the words written on one Japanese moss ball label with Henry's name.

She said she had made new friends through the classes but the best part was seeing the work on display for the first time.

"I made a cushion, paintings, moss balls and tie-dye ... Then I got to show my family and friends."

Danielle Downes, who has cerebral palsy, said the exhibition was "awesome".

"I am very excited ... We made the socks and painted the art and now it's here."

New tutor Christine Stewart said art therapy helped the group members to focus.


"They have a lot more pride from achieving on their own."

She said it was also helpful that there was "no right or wrong way" to make art.

"It is all in the eyes of the beholder."

All proceeds from the exhibition sales go to the Rotorua Brain Injury Association.