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The artworks in this plan have been commissioned from five Queensland artists with a lived or living experience.

Each artist was asked to provide a leaf artwork that responded to the theme “What sustains your mental health and wellbeing?” through a lens of hope and positivity. Leaves were chosen as a motif to represent renewal and growth.

We sincerely thank each artist for their beautiful and poignant contributions to this plan, and their time and generosity in sharing their personal stories. 

The artists

Alana Sawrey

"This artwork reflects the role that learning plays in keeping myself well and engaged with life.

For me this comes in the form of interesting conversations, listening to podcasts and reading books to widen my perspective and foster my curiosity. It’s also about giving my otherwise busy and anxious mind healthy things to dwell on that are good, true and beautiful."


Jacob Sarra

"I’m a Goreng Goreng artist, born and raised in Ipswich. I began to create my own art after watching my father paint.

I have always been fascinated by the moon and all things space related and that shows in most of my art.

The overarching theme of my art is the journey taken, the different pathways throughout life and the connections made with people."

Leigh-Ellen Roundhill

"My life was a constant battle, not fitting in and unable to comprehend why. This led to many additional, preventable mental health issues.   

In 2017 I was correctly diagnosed and appropriately medicated, saving my life. Finally I could focus and read, granting me better understanding. This allowed ongoing personal insight hence improving my quality of life.  

Nature, water, animals and creative activities have and continue to assist in maintaining my wellbeing."

maintien de l’esprit (maintenance of spirit)

Ben Pascoe

"My name is Ben Pascoe. I am a self-taught Ngarigo artist living on the Gold Coast, Queensland. I was diagnosed with schizophrenia in 2015; reconnecting with nature and culture helps me through difficult times and improves my wellbeing.  

The artwork I have provided is completed with markers and is titled Umbrella Tree. I am inspired by nature and what different lifeforms can teach us."

Umbrella Tree

Carol Owens

Carol draws inspiration from her sense of connection with self, others and our environment. She has a dynamic sense of colour and is an emotive and intuitive artist. Carol is a former Wheel of Wellbeing Facilitator and continues to encourage herself and others to be active, keep learning, give, connect, and to take notice of and respect our environment. 

Carol said:

"Creating is a sanity saver for me. While developing the mini leave paintings, I used a limited palette of acrylic pens on pre-used canvas…I began doodling and waited until I could see what each leaf would invite me to paint…it’s a challenge, but if I am patient, this style of intuitive painting allows my mind to wander and then various emotions and remembered experiences emerge. These leaves are evocative of childhood times spent with family and friends, frolicking in gardens, parks and beaches. The process of painting them reminded me (that even through the dark times) to hold onto my child-like sense of joy, natural curiosity in all things around me…and hope for a bright future.  

When looking at the colours of the leaves consider: 

  • Yellow = hopeful, sustaining bright futures 
  • Green = growth, newness, learning and activity 
  • White = life force and strength 
  • Blue = can be both the happy bright skies or blue times/shadow times of when we are in limbo and not feeling our best selves 
  • Pinks, orange and red = the many shades of love and life stages 
  • Earthy tones = nature, being naturally curious, born to seek, grounded on this land. 

Some of the shapes tell their own stories: 

  • Tear drops and heart shapes = we shed tears in times of sadness, joy, love, loss and when we feel lost. Other people bring us connection, joy and tears…hearts are two tears joined together 
  • Dots = connection, pathways and movement 
  • Looping lines = people and the strength of connection and the activity we create 
  • Cross hatching = whatever ‘safety net’ is most meaningful for yourself—for me it is family, friends, others who enjoy learning."

Born to Seek and Learn Whilst We’re Grounded on this Earth

Life Force of Hope