Carol Owens’ introspective and sentimental nature is clearly evident in her artwork. From capturing the jubilant essence of her childhood, to mourning the heartbreaking loss of her son, Carol’s artworks exhibited in the 2022 Recovered Futures Art Exhibition were nothing short of remarkable.
“Six weeks after I lost my son to suicide, my new partner and his family took me away on a sailing adventure in the Whitsunday Islands. I was numb with grief and loss. Despite this, I was able to make the most of the time and succumb to the beauty of the water, wind, sunshine and connection with my partner and his family. My artwork, ‘Smooth Sailing’, was the result.”
Having been introduced to painting at a young age, art became a companion for Carol which would carry her through life’s ups and downs.
“As a toddler my grandma would sit and draw flowers with me…what a lifelong gift it turned out to be. The practice of painting enables me to get into the flow and forget about everything else - it’s like an ‘eyes open’ meditation. The joy of using colour, lines and working on emotive creations brings another level of satisfaction to the hours, days and months.”
“An artist always has something to look forward to.”
|"Sunny Day" by Carol Owens on display at the 2022 Recovered Futures Art Exhibition.
Carol understands the non-linear nature of the human experience better than most. While actively working to improve her own mental health, she finds inspiration in seeing others overcome life’s challenges.
“Every family has its good and bad times - and within the family, each person will have their own challenges. That is what it is to be human. No matter how hard some of my days have been, I come across others who have thrived and survived despite their hardships. I am humbled by their fortitude to be themselves and push onwards.”
Not one to be swallowed by all she’s been through, Carol is committed to finding and maintaining balance in her life.
“I have found it useful to seek professional counselling, to write my problems down, to read self-help books, attend workshops, increase my exercise, do yoga, go swimming, and focus on a healthy diet. Mixing with people who are value-adding makes a difference too.”
From the darkest depths of grief, Carol has emerged with a fierce confidence and belief that although mental illness may be part of her journey, it will not determine her destination.
“We can’t always make our problems, grief, loss, anxiety or depression go away – but I have found that I can separate them from my inner core - they will come along with me but won’t take over my life.”