An art exhibition will put mental health and wellbeing into the spotlight next month.

Jacki Berry has organised the Breathing Space exhibition, which will run at in the upstairs Landing Gallery at the Verdigris Creative Studio next month.

"The exhibition will run for one month and the art pieces will be auctioned online, with all proceeds going towards the Taranaki Retreat."

She says this is a follow-on from the exhibition she held last year.

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"I created seven paintings that were showcased in the Landing Gallery and then auctioned. All the proceeds went to the Mental Health Foundation. Verdigris owners Sue and Peter Hogan invited me back to hold another exhibition. We're hoping to make this an annual event."

Jacki says the exhibition will also support a local organisation which supports people and families struggling with mental wellbeing.

"The work Taranaki Retreat does is incredible and I want to help them so they can continue to help those in need."

To ensure the number of potential bidders isn't limited by Covid-19 level regulations, the auction itself will take place online, says Jacki.

"Photos, details about the art piece and the reserve price will all be loaded onto the Verdigris website."

Jacki says she is hoping the exhibition encourages people to use art as a way of healing.

"When you're creating something you're in a spiritual place where you can express your emotions through what you create. In the creative process you are healing."

She says people's mental wellbeing is important.

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"Everyone knows someone in life who is struggling with their mental health. We need to support them and be there for them. I encourage those hurting to try art as a way of healing."

Jacki has set a headboard challenge where the artist has to use a single-bed sized headboard to create an art piece.

"The idea behind the challenge is about your personal headspace and understanding your own journey. Every artist has a different way to express their feelings and the challenge is about understanding our own healing."

■ The Breathing Space exhibition opening is October 9, 6pm in the upstairs Landing Gallery at Verdigris Creative Studio in Stratford.

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