PTSD therapy art on display at Art and Soul Gallery in Wingham

Artist and retired police officer Jillian Oliver in front of the new gallery space in Wingham.
Artist and retired police officer Jillian Oliver in front of the new gallery space in Wingham.

The community can now regularly view and purchase the art of local serving or retired military and emergency services personnel who suffer from work related stress such as PTSD.

The Art and Soul - Wingham Art Group now has a gallery which is open Thursdays from 9.30am - 3pm at 51 Isabella Street, Wingham.

Artworks on display at the Art and Soul Gallery in Wingham.

Artworks on display at the Art and Soul Gallery in Wingham.

The group was started nearly three years ago by local artist Ron Hindmarsh and medically retired NSW police officer Jillian Oliver.

Until recently the current shop served simply as a workspace for the group's fortnightly therapy art lessons.

"When I suggested we start displaying the work everyone got quite active," said Jillian.

"They just love it and think it is fantastic especially when they get feedback."

Ron Hindmarsh, Jillian Oliver and art group member Dennis Simpson in front of the new Art and Soul Gallery in Wingham. Dennis has been practicing painting portraits and he is holding a portrait he did of Ron.

Ron Hindmarsh, Jillian Oliver and art group member Dennis Simpson in front of the new Art and Soul Gallery in Wingham. Dennis has been practicing painting portraits and he is holding a portrait he did of Ron.

The walls are lined with artworks made with a variety of mediums including watercolour, oil and acrylic paint as well as pen and wash.

There's even some interesting acrylic pours and old records have been given a new life as painted clocks.

"There's all sorts there to cater to different tastes," said Jillian.

The fortnightly art lessons will continue in the space and there's even talk of expanding the opening hours of the gallery to include Sundays.

There are around 15 members of the group with at least 10 at a time attending the regular art lessons.

"It's really great for them," said Jillian.

In fact the group members enjoy their regular lessons so much they didn't want to stop during the COVID-19 lockdown earlier this year.

They just love it and think it is fantastic especially when they get feedback

Jillian Oliver

"We did online challenges via Facebook and email and they all kept working," added Jillian.

The artists will benefit directly from the sale of their work at the gallery with a percentage also helping to fund the group's expenses and equipment.

"People are welcome to visit our gallery and talk to the artists," said Ron Hindmarsh.

"And as this program is run on a voluntary basis all sales and donations will be appreciated."

New members are always welcome.

For further information contact Jillian Oliver on 0428 146 210 or email jaoliver@hotmail.com