ART is a path to self discovery for Kobi Friend, who wants her work to inspire people to find the unashamed beauty in being themselves.
The 17-year-old from Edgewater last week helped launch the Youth Art Exhibition Space at headspaceJoondalup where she’ll exhibit her work until May 25.
Kobi described her art as cartoon-like surrealism and although the characters illustrated were mythical, they represented individual uniqueness that was relatable.
“I hope people can relate to my artwork and find meaning in being yourself and not being ashamed in your differences, being comfortable in your own body, because it can make you stand out, beautifully and uniquely,” she said.
Having been bullied growing up, art became therapy for Kobi and a way for her to express emotions unapologetically and feel a sense of openness.
“When I started getting older, I would become more drawn into having negative thoughts, being bullied and facing judgemental statements and accusations,” she said.
“This led to art being more therapeutic and relaxing for me to do, especially during a situation of high anxiety or being very upset.
“My art expresses my emotions and personality traits not a lot of people notice or consider me to have, but it makes me feel open and comfortable to anyone who views it.”
Program manager Ciara Crotty said the space provided artists a free opportunity to display their work for a month to promote their confidence and self-esteem.
“It is very important for headspace to support all young people to reach their potential and to provide them with the opportunities to do so wherever possible,” she said.
“We know from experience that art and creativity plays a major part in some young people’s lives and often serves as a coping mechanism and positive activity for young people to use during times of stress and worry.”
Supports people aged 12-25 and their families experiencing mental health difficulties
G8/126 Grand Boulevard, Joondalup