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Art From the Heart exhibition at the Cross

Sixth annual Art From the Heart exhibition at the Cross

An upcoming exhibition of artworks in Kings Cross will showcase the artistic talents of some of the diverse clients of the Uniting Medically Supervised Injecting Centre (MSIC).

Lord Mayor Clover Moore will open the sixth annual Art From the Heart of the Cross exhibition at the Kings Cross Neighbourhood Centre on 3 September. The exhibition will feature 72 artworks, mostly acrylic paintings on canvas, but also drawings, sculptue and poems, and will run for two weeks.

Uniting MSIC offers a compassionate, evidence-based response to drug use by minimising associated harm and offering a range of support, tailored to each client. The centre also runs an art therapy program, which gives clients the opportunity to have their works displayed in the annual exhibition.  

Dr Marianne Jauncey, the Medical Director of Uniting MSIC, said Art From the Heart of the Cross  was developed in 2011 to help build a sense of social inclusion among a marginalised group in the community.

“This exhibition reminds people in the local community that clients who visit the injecting centre are people first and foremost, all with different skills, talents and a story to tell. There’s so much more to our clients than the small amount of time they spent at Uniting MSIC,” she said.

One of the clients exhibiting work said painting had mental health benefits for him. “Art has always played a part in my life…I disappear in the moment, it’s very therapeutic, it’s like meditating,” he said.

Uniting MSIC Health Education Officer, Natasa Nikolic said, “The art program is absolutely empowering for our clients. You can’t really change your life if you don’t find something beautiful about yourself, and this program offers that to people. When they realise they are good at something and feel that passion and enthusiasm, that helps them change their lives for the better.”

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said, “From its inception, the centre’s been saving lives. This exhibition tells another piece of the story: how the centre has been able to reach a marginalised community and support them, not only with their health issues, but in exploring their talents.”

Art From the Heart of the Cross opens to the public at 1pm, Saturday 3 September at the Kings Cross Neighbourhood Centre, 50-52 Darlinghurst Rd, Kings Cross.