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Art teacher Demelza Wheatcroft, student Lisa Butcher, Kalamunda artist Rosemary Hamersley and students Melanye Wawrik and Cathy Swioklo (B) Students Venessa Miler and Kat Bifield (F)

Eco art for a healthy mind

Breanna Inferrera

A GROUP of strong women across the Eastern and Perth Hills region have taken up eco art classes for their mental health and wellbeing.

The classes, which are held at the Mundaring Adult Creative and Learning Centre, are inspired by nature to create mandalas, prints, textiles and watercolour paintings.

Art teacher Demelza Wheatcroft said when she first developed the course, she asked the universe to ‘send her the people’ that needed it.

“It was interesting once the group formed, I felt within the first day we bonded because we have a love and appreciation of art, but it’s about using art to slow down,” she said.

“There’s this beautiful thing through art making and you get into a meditative state.

“You’ve just got this singular focus and because your brain is focused on that, the monkey mind is gone.

“It’s a beautiful practice for the mind.”

Chidlow resident Venessa Miler, who has cancer, is one of Ms Wheatcroft’s students.

“I’ve worked for many years in the public space in committee services,” Ms Miler said.

“But I’ve had to slow down because I have cancer.

“I was scrolling through Facebook and this eco dying course came up and it looked really interesting.”

Ms Miler said she loves the course.

“Even when I’m unwell, can barely walk in a straight line and I’m dizzy, I don’t want to miss it because of the opportunity to be present and take some space to be,” she said.

“One of the better things for cancer is that sort of mindfulness and meditation.”

Ms Wheatcroft explained the activities within the classes focus on recycling and reusing.

“The ‘eco’ is two parts,” she said.

“One, it’s inspired by the shapes and forms in nature, so if you’re attracted to nature’s organic lines and shapes, you’ll love it.

“But it’s also about using what we have.”

Kalamunda artist Rosemary Hamersley shared her eco art practice and travels around the world with the class earlier this month.

“It’s lovely, in a way it’s just a boost,” Ms Hamersley said.

“I’ve always thought you’ve got to share.”

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