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What’s On at the Centre for Creative Health

Commercial and Emerging Artist Galleries

‘Mindful’ – Maggie Cecchin, BAY & Melanie Crawford

‘Mindful’ celebrates the healing, meditative and uplifting potential art provides for both artist and viewer as it creates a contemplative space promoting joy and wellbeing.

Bessie Davidson Gallery – ‘Affirmation’ – Maggie Cecchin

Artist Statement

Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life… (Picasso)

You know when you do something you love and forget about time, absorbed by the very essence of that moment? When I paint this is where I am. For me, this experience came after a long career as a health professional and academic. When I first picked up a paint brush, it was not without fear and a trembling hand. After many hours exploring the relationship of paint, surface and colour I discovered the joy of painting, this became a new life for me.

My art is predicated upon three basic tenets: expressing the inner significance of my world, the nature of materials and the iconic character of painting.

I enjoy experimentation and work with a variety of materials. I build surfaces through a dialogue of adding layers of paint and other materials; an intuitive, iterative process that creates a journey across the painted surface. Focused on texture and colour-(field) I draw from my love of simple form, colour and tactile sensibility. I choose abstraction to provide me with a language which is at once personal and universal and enables me to communicate to the world.

Deciding when I have finished the work is crucial. However, I do not consider it complete until it is experienced by the viewer. Seeing, finding and revealing are important for artist and viewer and create a shared meditative world. My goal is to create art that will engage, I want viewers to linger, explore and enjoy and enrich their lives.

Arts in Health Statement

Art is a type of meditation for artist and viewer. Painting is good for the soul … a journey into the unknown that can impact mood and emotions, open the mind or alter the experience of life.

Sir Ivor Hele Gallery – ‘Mind maps’ – BAY

Artist Statement

‘Mind Maps’ represent a search for identity, belonging and mental health awareness. BAY’s instinctive eye for colour and form combine to create large paintings that celebrate the healing process of mental illness. Acrylic paints are marbled and react with gel mediums to represent the unpredictable symptoms of anxiety and depression. Meanwhile the contrasting, intricate line work, appearing as contour lines on a map, create the impression of islands, a reference to the artist’s Tongan heritage.

The colourful abstract paintings are a metaphor for the isolation which many with mental illness experience. Bringing her experiences and challenges into the spotlight through art has helped those around her consider their own situation. The artworks have become a talking point for many, offering a space of calm and an opportunity for reflection. Viewers find they are slowly drawn deep inside the artwork, leaving behind the stresses of everyday life.

Last year BAY was awarded an artist residency at Glenside Health Services, during this time she successfully facilitated art therapy classes. This experience has strengthened her desire to raise mental health awareness through art, and promote the many proven health benefits art therapy provides. Regularly exhibiting work interstate, thE Adelaide artist has collaborated with Australian tea company Madame Flavour, to design artwork for the packaging of their Melbourne Morning Blend.

Arts in Health Statement

In healthcare, I think art therapy is paramount and we are only just beginning to see the myriad of its benefits in consumers recovery, particularly mental health.

Margaret Preston Gallery – ‘Home’ – Melanie Crawford

Artist Statement

My abstract paintings are about creating a space for contemplation, room to breathe, to meditate and relax. My art is created to be a safe place for solitude, peace, stillness and comfort. I seek to offer a moment and a work that can stand to be seen over and over, a place to live, not dusty or sleepwalking, but fully alive and present; to connect, to see again something new, to be reminded, to be renewed. To hear faint sounds, murmurs and whispers, to travel somewhere and come back safely. Texture, beautiful mistakes and the capturing of light guide the way until my paintings become a place, an offering of safe space and reminders of home. I moved from Sydney in 2016 and my exhibition ‘Home’ is an exploration and celebration of place, connection, belonging and learning my new hometown, Adelaide.

Artist Bio

Melanie Crawford studied at the University of NSW: College of Fine Arts and at Macquarie University, Sydney. She is an accomplished practicing and exhibiting contemporary artist and a Secondary Visual Arts teacher at one of Adelaide’s leading independent schools. Melanie’s original artworks have found homes in the USA, UK and across Australia.

Arts in Health Statement

I believe that Art can provide healing, whether it is through the therapeutic benefits that making art offers or through an observation or interaction with artworks. Art offers a rich, living and generous place for wonder, which I believe is essential in our society today. As a cancer survivor myself, I know and have experienced first-hand, the healing power of art.

Maggie Cecchin, Texture #22, Acrylic mixed media on canvas, 107 x 107 cm


Maggie Cecchin, Hope, oil and cold wax on panel, 30 x 30 cm


BAY, Mind Map ‘Submarine Sunset’, acrylic on paper, 640 x 500 mm


BAY, Mind Map ‘Girl’, acrylic on paper, 640 x 500 mm


Melanie Crawford, Little Adelaide, 2019, acrylic on canvas, 91 cm x 122 cm


Melanie Crawford, Holdfast, 2019, acrylic on canvas, 153 x 122 cm

‘Molecule’ – Charlie Taplin

Artist Bio

Charlie Taplin is an abstract artist who is inspired by nature and pattern. He often works in acrylic and ink, layering his colours to reveal delicate forms and structures. Taplin works from the Tutti Visual Arts supported studio where he continues to work hard and push his exploration of art to new places. Taplin has strong colour sensibility and his semi-abstract works are executed with delicate sophistication. His latest works reflect his interest in the microscopic world, referencing shapes and patterns that are unseen to the eye. Taplin has exhibited in many group exhibitions in Adelaide and has work in private collections. This is his first solo exhibition.

Artist Statement

I love colour, patterns and shapes and have used images of the microscopic world as inspiration to create this series of abstract artworks.

Charlie Taplin, Red Blood Cells, 60 x 80 cm


Charlie Taplin, Atom, 60 x 80 cm

‘Mother Nature’s Chill Out Zone’ | Barbara Smith

Hi, my name is Barbara Smith.

I am an amateur artist.

I was born in Victoria in 1960 and have lived in South Australia since 1975.

I have been doing volunteer work at the R.A.H on and off since 1986.

I have a minor intellectual disability which includes learning difficulties. I also suffer from anxiety which is a result of my mum, who was also my best friend, dying. The anxiety is part of the reason I started painting.

I always wanted to paint and finally got around to it in May 2018. I paint the things that mean the most to me, which are my dogs. Their names are Oscar and Charlie. I love being by the Seaside and I love animals and nature.

I hope these paintings give as much joy to the patients, staff and visitors of the hospital as much as the joy I had painting them.

‘Trials and Trauma- Healing with Art’-John Miller

Chronic, unstable major depression fed into alcoholism that caused me to suffer 20%, 4th degree burns in late August, 2015. Post burns saw me heal from the burns, manage my depression, battle homelessness, become aware of complex PTSD and remain sober to this day- 3.5y.


In an alcohol rehab program that also focused on finding safe long-term sustainable housing, I became involved in an in-house art program, where I began to express my emotions and thought in painting, words and drawing. Since this time I have begun a new journey in art- now being a student at the Adelaide Central School of Arts. I have selected 5 art works that progressively tell my story over the last 4 years. The works have not been chosen for their appearance, but because they are important to me.

All of the canvases were recycled from clients in the recovery program I was in, that left them and were going to be thrown away.  I recycled them out of respect for these people’s struggles.


Aside for the lifesaving surgery and the following treatment from the burns unit- they have been a lynchpin of support for me post burns. I began my journey in art after my stay in hospital, but have been a regular visitor to the unit for outpatient appointments, and recently 2 corrective hand surgical procedures that have allowed me enough use of my hand to start playing the cello and piano again. The support, professionalism and humanity of all in the burns unit will remain with me till the end of my days- with gratitude for life, and the ability to heal and grow.

Barbara Smith, ‘Mother Nature’s Chill Out Zone’, installation view, Community Gallery North


‘Trials and Trauma – Healing with Art’, installation view, Community Gallery South

‘SALA at Hampstead’ – Cassie Thring, Donald Crettenden & Dawn Gemmell

Cassie Thring is an Adelaide based visual artist working across disciplines with a genuine determination to play with ideas and ways of making.

Since graduating from Adelaide Central School of Art in 2015, Cassie has exhibited regularly and has been the recipient of a number grants and residencies. She is the Chair and an active member of Floating Goose Studios, Morphett St, Adelaide and a passionate advocate for art programs in aged care and community art workshops. Her work is held in private collections in Australia and internationally.

The 2019 ‘SALA at Hampstead’ Exhibition is a collaboration between Cassie’s professional art practice and the work of patients Dawn Gemmell and Don Crettenden. As Artist in Residence at Hampstead, Cassie has spent her time sharing skills and knowledge with residents. Drawings and watercolour paintings made by 2 of the residents have been upscaled via a digital process, and pasted directly to the gallery walls. Cassie uses this strategy in her own work as a mode of exploration, allowing for discoveries within the work that are not normally seen.

Dawn Gemmell’s free-flowing study of colour has been transformed from an A4 page into an abstracted panel over 4 meters long. Sourced from the gardens at Hampstead, Don Crettenden’s photographs of flowers were used as the basis of his water colour studies. Cassie has used these single flower paintings to make vast observations of shape and pattern.

As the works are pasted directly to the gallery walls, they are ephemeral and not for sale. They will exist in the gallery spaces until later in the year, when they will be removed.

Cassie Thring & Dawn Gemmell, SALA at Hampstead, installation view

Cassie Thring & Dawn Gemmell, SALA at Hampstead, installation view

Cassie Thring & Dawn Gemmell, SALA at Hampstead, installation view



Artworks are for sale.

Please contact Fiona Borthwick for more information.

08 7074 1439