Artworks help tell a story of recovery

Justine Sellars, of Towcester, will display her artwork at Towcester Library as part of her exhibition, called From Despair to Recovery. PNL-140331-145700001

Justine Sellars, of Towcester, will display her artwork at Towcester Library as part of her exhibition, called From Despair to Recovery. PNL-140331-145700001

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A personal story of recovery from mental illness will be told through artworks exhibited at Towcester Library this month.

Justine Sellars, 46, took up writing and painting during her treatment for agitated depression which saw her hospitalised for six weeks last October. Her new interest has now become a key part of her recovery.

Justine Sellars, who discovered her passion for painting while undergoing treatment at a psychiatric hospital. PNL-140331-145129001
Justine Sellars, who discovered her passion for painting while undergoing treatment at a psychiatric hospital. PNL-140331-145129001

She said: “I never did painting or creative stuff at all. I never thought about picking up a paintbrush.

“I paint freestyle, bright, colourful and vibrant because it makes me feel happy and hopefully it will cheer someone else up.”

Mrs Sellars, who lives in Towcester with her husband Neil and two children, was admitted to psychiatric hospital after she suffered a series of anxiety and panic attacks which got worse and led to suicidal thoughts and self-harming. It was there that she first began to paint and write.

She said: “It is a really good distraction. It passes the time very quickly. When I get engrossed in the painting I forget about everything else.”

Before she was admitted to hospital Mrs Sellars worked as an admin assistant in a school. She now hopes to ‘give something back’ and work in mental health when she is recovered.

She said: “I am pleased to share my experience because hopefully other people will think they are not the only ones. They are not alone.”

Mrs Sellars’ exhibition, From Despair to Recovery, includes 12 acrylic paintings and five pieces of poetry about her experience.

 

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