05 July - 28 July 2023



5 July 2023 - 28 July 2023

This exhibition features artworks by emerging artists who attend the Visual Art Programs run by Neami National, a community mental health service supporting people to achieve mental and physical wellbeing. 

This year, through a contemporary lens, artists have reflected on Emily Dickinson’s poem, “Hope” is the thing with feathers (1891). Exploring the poem’s themes, their artwork expresses an optimism for the future and marvels at how hope can survive even in the face of significant adversity. The artists have created a diverse and uplifting body of work based on their individual and collective art practices.

Artworks will be available for purchase.

Image: Angel Connections, Artist: Audrey Vanden Heuvel

"Hope" Is The Thing With Feathers Exhibition is presented by The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre and Neami National.


“Hope” is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul -
And sings the tune without the words -
And never stops - at all -
And sweetest - in the Gale - is heard -
And sore must be the storm -
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm -
I’ve heard it in the chillest land -
And on the strangest Sea -
Yet - never - in Extremity,
It asked a crumb - of me.
Image Right: Untitled, Artist: Stevan Howison

400x800_Untitled by Stevan Howison copy.jpg



amanda butterfield

Amanda Butterfield is just beginning to explore art, she is enjoying using different mediums, especially watercolour. Amanda is new to the Neami Comet art group. She also enjoys sharing with other artists and exhibiting her artwork. 


Audrey Vanden Heuvel attends the Drawn Together Art group in Murray Bridge and quotes, “Expressing my feelings through art has always been important, probably my first love.  I have studied at the SA School of Arts and for an Associate Diploma in Crafts and Interior Design.  The group had given me friendships, support and encouragement to experiment with various art forms.”


Betty Artis has been with Studio 17 for several years and selling a few pieces along the way. She has altered her medium from acrylic painting at the beginning to now working with coloured pencils.  Betty mostly draws female portraits with nods to the Medieval and Victorian eras and back again to more modern times.


Edwina states, "I’m always influenced about art and different approaches on what I draw and try to paint.  I enjoy attending the groups run through the JUMP Arts program in Port Adelaide, they’re very useful in opening the flow of being creative. It relieves tiresome boredom or other aspects of being someone like me who is experiencing mental health issues.  The subjects I like to paint are birds, ocean life, flowers and, even some designs with some colour or patterns.  Overall I’ve found more to achieve in art.”


Joanne Losovski enjoys painting, stating that, “being totally immersed in my art is an escape and distraction from my mental illness. It also gives me a sense of achievement.”  Joanne is drawn to a range of mediums and in the past year has focussed on botanical water colour painting; mainly flowers in vivid colours. This is Joanne’s third year of attending Neami arts programs and she regularly exhibits.  She is inspired by the great impressionist artists and is drawn to the use of colour and composition.


Joe Amuso always loved art, especially abstract works but never put paint to canvas until later in life.  Joe’s work is inspired by pop art, colourists and naïve painters. To this artist, painting should be relaxing, fun and spontaneous.  Joe has been attending the various Neami art programs in Port Adelaide for over twelve years and successfully completed his Artist in Residence through Jump Arts.  Joe quotes, “I really like seeing new artists at the groups grow and enjoy themselves making art.  The groups are not just about art, it’s about socialising too.” Joe hopes to have his own solo exhibition in the future.

kylie douglas

Kylie Douglas is drawn to painting a range of subjects always with a strong focus on bright and bold colours.  She enjoys challenging the viewer by creating images that are different to how we thought they might look, by pushing the norms of colour.  Kylie says that her initial inspiration for returning to art was for relaxation and that it is one of the best things that she can do for her mental health.

lydia craig

Lydia Craig has been an artist for over 6 years. “I enjoy painting, meeting with other artists and the relaxing emotions it brings to my life”. Lydia hopes to create more art to exhibit in future exhibitions.


Stevan Howison states: “My engagement with visual arts - painting, drawing and sculpture - has run on for 30 years and my focus and enthusiasm are as strong as ever. The work has given my life texture, colour and meaning. What is a critical point of view? With my own dissociation, I am in a grey area.  And I mean both culturally and aesthetically. But I press on with the business of being an artist. And from time to time something good springs out. Like amperes in a circuit. Flicker flicker flicker flash.”

Presented by
The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre and neami national


While the views presented by speakers within The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre public program are their own and are not necessarily those of either the University of South Australia, or The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre, they are presented in the interest of open debate and discussion in the community and reflect our themes of: Strengthening our Democracy - Valuing our Diversity - Building our Future. The Hawke Centre reserves the right to change their program at any time without notice.