9 - 17 October, 2021

Behind the artwork

Townsville artist Jesse James was commissioned to create the official artwork for Queensland Mental Health Week 2021.

Titled ‘Take time – for mental health’ Jesse’s design reflects the week’s theme and will be utilised to inform the visual identity.

 

Artwork by Jesse James

‘Take time – for mental health’ by Jesse James.

Artist statement

The main circle reflects a person’s journey through mental health, recognising the impact of poor mental health – the cycle of trauma, confusion, depression, stress, anxiety, loneliness, sadness, suicidal ideation and/or abuse. The centre circle than branches out into a vibrant, colourful display to represent the transitioning into a relaxed, smooth, and calm state, promoting a change in one’s perception of their mental health and lifestyle.

The coloured rainbow handprints represent the cultural diversity in Queensland’s communities, towns and cities and recognise symbolically that mental health issues can affect anyone, regardless of their race or cultural background.

Below and above the centre circle you will see the tree root, waterways, and fire which represent one’s soul connecting back to embrace Mother Nature and the peacefulness, joy, and happiness one can find in connecting more to our natural surroundings to refresh one’s soul and inner spirit for re-healing.

The male and female circles represent the way we keep learning from others and the need to show kindness towards people living with a mental illness. It also represents a Yarning Circle for both men’s business and women’s business, discussing mental health in a safe environment with other people, doctors, mental health specialists, and other healthcare professionals.

About the artist

Jesse James, known artistically as ‘JUMBO’ is a self-taught artist who has been painting for the last eight years, describing his artworks as always representing traditional Aboriginal painting combined with his own colourful pieces and take on new techniques.

Jesse was born on Palm Island and is a proud Bwgcolman, Birri-Gubba and Mamu man who pays respects to the Wakka Wakka peoples from Cherbourg where he grew up.

Jesse is a passionate advocate for mental health awareness and painting is one of the ways he takes time to prioritise his mental health.

He works within the Open Minds Community Re-Entry Services Team, working alongside men and women on parole to help make re-entering the community a success.

Artist reflections

“I have been through depression myself in 2013 and having come out of that dark place, I have always been keen to get into the mental health field and have some form of artwork represent my own journey to help others.”

“It’s wonderful to be part of such a great cause.”

“Mental health has affected my family, myself and my partner in many ways and we like to find the time to help others in need.”