Light and Shade

Untitled (detail) by Donna Lawrence

Light and Shade: A visual exploration of Dialectical Behaviour Therapy

Donna Lawrence

Pivot Gallery, Belconnen Arts Centre

Opening: 6pm Friday 30 August 2024

Exhibition: 30 August – 13 October 2024

DBT stands for Dialectical Behavioural Therapy. DBT is a form of CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) and is used to treat a variety of mental health disorders, and it is also becoming increasingly popular for individuals seeking personal development. BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder), addiction, suicidal and self-harm behaviours and depression are commonly treated with DBT. This is where the artist’s experience of DBT comes from. 

The artist has experienced many ongoing inpatient admissions for multiple complex diagnoses into Mental Health wards both in Victoria and Queensland. Art has been used as a visual therapy by the artist. 

Borderline Personality Disorder (Bipolar Disorder) is highly stigmatized in mental health settings and the wider community. This exhibition aims to challenge that stigma through an experimental and interactive journey of visual and conceptual language. The exhibition’s purpose is for the audience to engage non-judgementally through self-reflection and expression, discovering new perspectives about DBT and BPD whilst confronting and challenging stigma regarding mental illness. 

DBT has been explored in music; this is one of the first times DBT has been addressed visually as it is usually a verbal or cognitive therapy. 

About the artist

Donna Lawrence is a professional artist currently working in Queensland, working around themes of disadvantage, prejudice, language, and mental health. She has a BA visual art, a GradDip in painting and a Masters in fine art. 5 solo exhibitions, many awards, numerous group exhibitions and many publications can be accredited to her. She is in numerous collections. 

I believe visual artwork can be aesthetically pleasing, as well as political and intellectual.