Picture of health
Here are three things you probably know are good for your mental health: fresh food, sleep and exercise. And, here’s one thing you might not know is good for your mental health: art!
Yes, according to science, looking at artworks can reduce stress and help provide momentary relief from anxiety and depression. Wondering where to get your mental health art fix? Start with these pieces of art around campus!
UTS Central’s latest addition, the Broadway Screen is a 12-metre-long digital canvas dedicated to digital Australian art.
One outstanding recent work is Rarranhdharr (The Late Dry Season) by The Mulka Project, which uses an aerial drone and widescreen camera to take you into the world of the Yolŋu people as they walk their ancestral lands. Another is Below the mountains and beyond the desert..., a computer-generated artwork by Grant Stevens in which a landscape evolves and grows over a limitless duration. You'll never see the same thing twice!
From late October, you can catch Veils on Veils by Cigdem Aydemir, short videos of the artist performing in elaborate headscarves. And yes, it may look like an advertisement (that’s the whole point, according to Cigdem), but you can’t buy anything! Instead, you can head to Building 2 via the Building 11 entrance and take a seat as the digital art rolls or look through the window as you stroll along Broadway. Head to UTS Art for screening times, interviews and more.
Food court mural
If you’ve ever grabbed a sneaky Chatime or HSP between classes (and let’s be honest, who hasn’t?), then you’ll probably have noticed the floor-to-ceiling mural on the UTS Central food court walls. But, have you ever properly stopped and admired it?
Also known as Bird Life Jungle Disco, the 175-square-metre mural was painted by hand over 11 days by seven artists from Studio A, a workshop for artists with intellectual disabilities. The colourful birds, trees and shapes are designed to encourage socialising – test it out the next time you’re in the food court!
We could hardly write about art at UTS without mentioning the Gallery! Located near Universal Café in Building 6, the UTS Gallery displays everything from video installations to ethical fashion to science-based interactive exhibitions. The current exhibition, Cloud Studies, is the first solo Australian exhibition by Turner-Prize-nominated collective Forensic Architecture, a multidisciplinary group that uses architecture, art and forensics to investigate humanitarian and environmental crimes around the world. Entry is always free, so do your mental health a favour and drop by the Gallery next time you have a break on campus!
Campus art collection
Don't have time to make a mental health trip to the screen, mural or gallery? That’s fine – you'll probably pass one of over 800 other artworks on display across campus anyway! If you’re heading to the Tower, check out the Big Bang on level 6, a 10-panel explosion of colour by Richard Larter. In Building 2? Baden Pailthorpe’s mesmerising animation Incubator, tucked in a corner of level 4, will give your spirits a quick boost.
Whether you’re an art connoisseur or a simply a lover of pretty colours, there’s something for everyone around campus. So, next time you're here, put aside some time for art and reap the mental health benefits!