This will be the first song I’ve written in 12 years. So you’re getting me off my ass in a big way.
-Leigh Hawkins, on being in the MOMENT TO BE ME Online Art Challenge.
…We challenged men of all ages across Australia to create a brand new creative work within 7 days based on their personal interpretation of ‘Moment To Be Me’. We advertised our event across social media platforms and were amazed to receive such an incredibly positive response from male creatives across the country wanting to take on the artistic challenge and share their work with the nation.
MY COUNSELLING SERVICE created this event with the intention to provide men across Australia a digital platform to express themselves creatively whilst promoting self-discovery and introspection. Creative expression is a fundamental value at MY COUNSELLING SERVICE as we understand how powerful it is as a platform for self-expression, self-discovery and healing. At MY COUNSELLING SERVICE we believe in the importance of facilitating all individuals to use art as a means to embrace the full spectrum of their personality and Self; including the masculine and feminine, fun and serious, light and dark, child and adult, sinner and saint, ego and higher self etc.
WHAT THE HELL DOES ART HAVE TO DO WITH MEN’S HEALTH?
For those of you who are wondering how an online art exhibition corresponds with men’s health, at MY COUNSELLING SERVICE we firmly believe that optimum health and wellbeing is about feeling free to express yourself and be authentically you without adhering to the labels, expectations or approval of others. For boys and men in 2015 this is extremely relevant. This project gave Australian male creatives an excuse to be free in their artistic pursuits, provided them with a realistic time frame to challenge themselves to create a totally new work, and facilitated each participant to explore issues relating to how artistic expression positively influences their overall health and wellness.
….Here’s what our Aussie male artists had to say about creative expression and how it impacts their personal health and wellness:
“ART IS MY ESCAPE FROM ALL THE SHIT AND IT MAKES PEOPLE HAPPY.”
“The whole process of landscape photography, from planning a shoot to processing and printing an image gets me out and away from everything and keeps me sane.”
“IT MAKES ME FEEL GOOD TO MAKE PEOPLE LAUGH. I’VE ALWAYS ENJOYED DOING THAT. IF I DON’T GET TO PERFORM, I GET DEPRESSED.”
“Anything creative or constructive is cathartic for me. It takes one’s mind off the things in life that are only hindering you, rather than allowing you to move forward. There’s a real sense of accomplishment in that.”
“MY ART WAS THE CENTRAL PATH OUT OF THE AT TIMES NEAR SUICIDAL DEPRESSION I EXPERIENCED FOR DECADES, AND IS NOW THE CORNERSTONE FOR MY EMOTIONAL WELLBEING AND HEALTH. I VERY MUCH LIVE TO DO WHAT I DO AND IT SPEAKS TO EVERY PART OF MY PSYCHE.”
“When you are capturing an interesting scene you are focussed on what’s before you. Any external problems or worries in your life are put on hold and you find yourself immersed in the moment and the creative process at hand.”
“Photography is what I do to clear my mind. When I’m out taking photos I’m not thinking about anything stressful, just focusing on the task at hand and it also keeps me active and moving which is always a good thing. I really can’t imagine how I would get by without photography as my creative outlet.”
“There’s power in creativity: force nor peace aren’t the way forward for us as a species, imagination will be what puts us over the non-existent line in the sand… personally I’m just trying to occupy my time in a way that I see fit; art, sex, making, creating intoxication are all the same.”
“My photography is my passion. It’s my escape from the normal world, and allows me to create something perceptible, something unique to the time and place where I make it. I hope that my art will endure much longer than I will, and continue to give others as much pleasure in the viewing as I took from the creation.”
“Photography keeps me active e.g getting to locations and mentally learning new tasks and skills.”
“Creativity is a major part of who l am, and it both satisfies and pleases me totally. As a result, it feeds the optimistic and positive attributes that l have, which in turn, leads to a healthy me mentally, and no doubt physically as well. It all comes down to attitude really.”
“I love to freeze a moment. The moment that a video or real life doesn’t capture as we tend to overlook those moments as they whiz past. My creative expression is about being there to witness that moment and document it , and having the ability to see when it is coming up.”
“I do a lot of landscape photography and spending time in nature is very cleansing for the soul and helps recharge the batteries. I believe its important for us all to nurture our connection with mother nature as we spend most of our lives living in man-made environments that are polluted, noisy, and quite stressful.”