9 - 17 October, 2021

Behind the artwork

The visual identity for Queensland Mental Health Week in 2020 was developed using the artwork Communicate through our strengths by Aboriginal artist Ailsa Walsh.

Ailsa believes the biggest gap we have in mental health is communication.

Originally commissioned for Queensland Mental Health Week in 2018, this painting has a powerful and positive message about the importance of connection, values and culture to mental wellbeing.

The painting centres around a yarning circle, which is a sacred and valued place in Indigenous communities, where people go to open up and connect with one another.

With Wi Fi bars represented in  the middle, the painting also highlights how new technologies can help us connect when we can’t be face to face, an incredibly powerful message in light of the public health and safety guidelines surrounding the COVID-19 emergency.

“This lets us communicate in ways other than face-to-face when we want to talk to someone. Some of us can feel ‘shame’ and ‘weak’ when discussing certain sad subjects. I want to change this through my art.” – Ailsa Walsh


Communicate through our strengths by Ailsa Walsh

About the artist

Ailsa Walsh is an Aboriginal Australian Visual Artist. Coming from three tribal regions in Queensland she feels she can connect through art using a range of art styles.

She started painting at the age of five and was taught in the early years by her late uncle, Ipswich Indigenous Elder, Joseph Davidson. Ailsa would watch as her uncle created amazing x-ray art (Aboriginal painting technique) and eagerly listened as he told her the dream-time stories behind his work.

During her twenties Ailsa attended the Aboriginal Centre for the Performing Arts gaining a Diploma in Performing Arts majoring in Acting. After several years of working travel Ailsa rediscovered her love of art and started to paint again.

She is studying a Bachelor of Contemporary Australian Indigenous Art at Griffith University, which is the only course in the world that provides training for contemporary Indigenous (Australian) artists.

Ailsa is proud of her Aboriginal heritage and is passionate about using her art to tell stories with a connection to culture. Her work encompasses many different art styles from painting to film making.

For more information, please visit Ailsa’s website