4 JULY - 29 JULY 2022


Adaptation - the act or process of changing to better suit a situation.

This exhibition features artworks by local emerging artists who attend the art programs run by Neami National; a community mental health service supporting people living with mental health issues to pursue a life based on their own strengths, values and goals.

The theme of the exhibition is 'Adaptation: the act or process of changing to better suit a situation.'  As individuals and communities we’ve all had to adapt to living with COVID. Neami Artists have drawn on inspiration from their own constant process of adaptation, the most recent, holding studio sessions online and reinventing their home art practices. From modern abstracts in acrylic to digital photography this exhibition brings together a broad range of arts practice and an eclectic range of creativity.


neami artwork

4 July - 29 July 2022
Open weekdays 9am - 5pm, until 6pm on Thursdays

Kerry Packer Civic Gallery
Hawke Building Level 3, UniSA City West Campus
55 North Terrace Adelaide MAP

Presented by The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre and Neami National

Images: Top Banner and Bottom: Swirls around a Blue Face & Orange Taste, Edwina Klaucke; Top: The last Tradition, Phillip Miller

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Ashton Schilling is originally from the Great Southern of Western Australia and is now living in Murray Bridge after having lived in Perth, Melbourne, Mooloolaba, Mt Tom Price and Coober Pedy.  Ashton quotes, ‘Art is omnipresent, within and without. Its inherent creative qualities help to see the bigger picture.’

Cecelia Kluge quotes ‘Art gives an opportunity for me to express my feelings. Being able to exhibit gives a sense of achievement and excitement that I can show others my artwork.  I began art the first year Neami Drawing Together Art Group started in Murray Bridge. This group is very friendly and caring as well as being a safe place to be. We are respectful to each other, but I mostly like the fact that we all give each other a hand. Art has got me through some very tough times! By focussing on my art, I can cope better with ‘life’.’

Edwina Klaucke quotes, “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, even some designs with some colour or patterns.  Overall, I’ve found more to achieve in art.”

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 ten years and is currently the Artist in Residence through Jump Arts.   

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.

Phillip Miller has a passion for digital photography and a very keen eye for detail, texture and form.  Working with Photoshop, he loves to recreate landscapes and terrain, natural and urban, with layers of colour and incorporating fractal elements.  For Phillip, each image captures a theme and a story about the inner and outer world and he encourages us to be physically drawn into his images and to find our own meaning. Phillip has been exhibiting his work with Neami for over five years.

Crystal Hart has had a lifelong interest in art, though having been brought up in a working-class family, for much of her life she was discouraged from pursuing any creative career. As a compromise Crystal made several attempts to study and freelance in various fields of design, but none of these pursuits resonated with her, and nothing lasted. For quite some time her creative drive lay dormant, she was convinced it was something she would mostly have to leave behind and could never amount to a full career. Continuing to go from job to job, a lifetime of trauma, unhappiness with life and crises of identity, Crystal reached the breaking point, quite literally, by breaking her leg. Her job at the time required manual labour, so that was off the table for a while. Being away from that job reflected on how horrible it was, the exploitation, constant bullying and her overall dissatisfaction with life, took it off the table altogether. Instead Crystal spent her time recovering from her injury as a time to consider what was important to her and who she wanted to be, her creative drive came back in full force, and this time could not be quietened. As Crystal explored her art, she explored herself, her art began to teach her about herself, it soon became clear that she could not go in living as she was, her true self shone through at the end of a paint brush. Crystal was now ready to start the next chapter of her life, with art as her sword and shield she could become the woman she was supposed to be, and even, in time forgive and find compassion for the shell that had guarded her all this time.

Crystal has a strong passion for watercolour paint, but is not limited by it, with unending curiosity she tries her hand at really anything she can, believing that true fulfilment in life is achieved through challenging oneself, striving for growth always. Mainly focused on portraiture, Crystal endeavours to convey strong emotion and depth, in simple forms, fully aware that the absence of a line can say just as much as one that is included. Crystal believes her art to be more valuable without any description, so that each person who views it may draw their own subjective meaning from the piece. The act of selling a piece, to Crystal, is like letting go of the emotional weight that went into making it and giving someone else the opportunity to explore themselves through the meaning they have drawn from the piece.

Crystal is a long way from where she started, and feels she still has a long road ahead of her; a road she is grateful to be walking on. Crystal has now been an exhibiting member of Studio 17 for several years and has undertaken a successful Artist In Residence programme with Neami in 2021. It took a long time for Crystal to find herself and her purpose, but now she has, she isn’t looking back, and will never again believe that she can’t have a meaningful and fruitful career in art, with full creative freedom. It is Crystal’s hope that she can sell her art to those who see its value, funding her endeavours so that she can continue to grow, and take on bigger and bolder projects. Crystal looks forward to building new relationships with others who see the value of art.



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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 copying and reproduction of any transcripts within The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre public program is strictly forbidden without prior arrangements.