The transformation that has occurred in Ezekiel Love is almost indescribable. Once confined within the four walls of her house - existing but not truly living - Ezekiel has since leapt into her future with a sense of hope and optimism she never thought possible.
“I’ve been through a lot of ups and downs throughout my life – anxiety, anorexia, morbid obesity, schizophrenia, bipolar and everything in between. I couldn’t make it to Aldi without having a panic attack and a meltdown. I was in a deep hole and had no idea how to climb out of it.”
“I can honestly say that everything changed when I got involved with the Recovered Futures Art Exhibition. It was the highlight of not only 2022 but of my life. I finally felt included, I felt that I found somewhere I belonged.”
When Ezekiel ’s psychosocial recovery support person Scott initially mentioned the exhibition, she was hesitant about being vulnerable in such a public setting. Yet with a little encouragement, she decided to give it a go.
“I have always been an arty person, ever since I was a kid drawing with crayons. Art helps me manage my mental health like nothing else - I paint my mental health story. When my artwork got into the exhibition, I nearly fell over!”
“I have never been involved in anything like this exhibition. It was mind-blowing and surreal to see my artwork in the city centre – in King George Square! Like WOW. I felt exceptionally grateful that my artwork was included among incredibly talented artists. It was a very rewarding and validating experience.”
|"Infinite" by Ezekiel Love on display at the 2022 Recovered Futures Art Exhibition.
Little did Ezekiel know things were going to get even better!
“My artwork sold! They told me that the guy who bought it was so moved that he started to tear up. To know that someone had connected with my artwork on such an emotional level was just so sweet and beautiful. It made my day. It was hard to part with it, but I know that it went to the right home.”
Ezekiel has enjoyed diving deeper into the art world since the exhibition, often taking drives with Scott to explore art galleries situated across the city and beyond. This is something that would have been unthinkable to Ezekiel just 12 months ago. Scott says the 'Ez’ of today is unrecognisable from the woman of the past.
“Ez truly believes she has value now – not just as an artist, but as a person. I can’t even put into words how much this experience has shaped her. Ez felt proud of herself for the first time in her life, and that feeling is rolling forwards into other parts of her life. She’s getting out and about now, she’s living life, she’s excited and animated. Now Ez has hope; now she sees a future.”
“And now I can go to Aldi!” laughs Ezekiel.
Ezekiel urges those who are forging their way through mental health challenges to just hold on.
“Don’t let it destroy you, keep going, it will get better. If you can’t make it through the next five minutes, make it through that one minute, make it through that one second, make it through that one breath. That one breath will lead onto another breath and another one and before you know it, you’ll find yourself at the Recovered Futures Art Exhibition having the time of your life! Those little gems in life are worth hanging on for.”