Northbridge: CECAT celebrates 50 years of art therapy

Kevin Glover (Fremantle), CECAT manager Tamara Rouen, Kerstin Koeller (Joondalup), Zann Massie (Balcatta) and Tron Tonnessen (Subiaco) at the Shopfront Gallery. Picture: Jessica Warriner.
Kevin Glover (Fremantle), CECAT manager Tamara Rouen, Kerstin Koeller (Joondalup), Zann Massie (Balcatta) and Tron Tonnessen (Subiaco) at the Shopfront Gallery. Picture: Jessica Warriner.

FOR 50 years, the Creative Expression Centre for Arts Therapy Services (CECAT) has been helping West Australians access art therapy to complement their mental health care.

They are celebrating the milestone with an exhibition at the Shopfront Gallery in Northbridge.

CECAT manager Tamara Rouen said the program was one of the first in Australia and the first with their own space.

“We work with people in a number of ways, helping develop their creativity and resilience,” she said.

“Many end up moving on to further study.”

The program began at Swanbourne Hospital, and is now based at Graylands Hospital.

CECAT participants work in mediums such as painting, drawing, ceramics, leather work and more, with the program also expanding into performance art and drama therapy.

“The process is the most important thing, with the main outcome internal,” Ms Rouen said.

Artist Kerstin Koeller said she learned a lot about herself making art.

“It’s a great thing to have on your journey to recovery,” she said.

Artist Kevin Glover said it was amazing to have the group’s work exhibited in the community, and said the CECAT program was a safe and accepting place to express creativity.

“You meet so many extraordinary people,” he said.

Inner Artist: An expression of the creative self runs from November 15 to 21 at the Shopfront Gallery.

The Gallery is open from 10am to 2pm Monday to Saturday.