In 2021, the Blue Stories Project was initiated in Whakatū Nelson by illustrator and designer, Karolina Gorton, and Perinatal Support Nelson, as an exhibition of portraits alongside inspiring and encouraging stories. In 2022 and 2023, the Project is expanding its reach nationwide. Stories from Te Whanganui a Tara Wellington along with pop-art style portraits created by Karolina will be exhibited from the 11th of March to the 10th of April at the Johnsonville Library, Waitohi Hub. You are invited to come along and connect with these storytellers and the stories that so often remain untold.
This exhibition has been created in association with Greenstone Doors and The Ruth Project (Wairarapa) with support from National charity Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Aotearoa (PADA). The 2022 PADA manager, Treena Cooper, says, “We can empower people by sharing stories, reaching people who may need help but are too afraid to reach out.”
All are welcome at the exhibition’s opening on Saturday 11th March, 2pm at Johnsonville Library, Waitohi Hub, where there will be guest speakers and an afternoon tea provided.
“…a deeply moving and profound project…” – Rachel Sanson, Nelson City Councillor
“The PND project display stopped me in my tracks today. Ka rawe! Good to see PND in the spotlight, from first person perspective.” – Rosamund Feeney, Community Programme Coordinator
The Blue Stories Project supports activities that encourage rerekē mō te pai (change for the better) and te kotahitanga i roto i te kanorautanga (unity in diversity). This is a project that creates a culture of supporting ALL women and their families. It educates communities and normalises the topic of PND.
The Blue Stories Project has been created in conjunction with Perinatal Support Nelson and Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Aotearoa (PADA) and with support from the National Lottery Community Grants scheme. These seven organisations are involved in the project: Well Women Franklin, Perinatal Wellbeing Canterbury, Maternal Mental Wellbeing Marlborough, Central Lakes Family Services, True Colours – Honouring the Mother, Greenstone Doors and The Ruth Project.
Here are a selection of the inspiring stories that have been shared with The Blue Stories Project: journeys out of perinatal depression in collaboration with Greenstone Doors and The Ruth Project Wairarapa and support of Little Shadow in the Wellington region. Ngā mihi nui to all who have contributed.
Head to www.bluestoriesproject.com to listen to interviews and to see the complete Blue Stories Project exhibition schedule.