Bon Collins - Postcards For Peace AmbassadorHaving grown up in rural England without a television, Bon has always had a creative streak that served her well in power cuts.

A keen artist at school, as an adult she forgot about paint brushes for 20 years.  However, being a grown up sometimes sucks and having been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Bon rediscovered her love of painting and started to paint and ‘potter’ as a means of finding balance in life.

Worried that her ‘bat cave’/studio, and then maybe the house would become overrun with paintings and pieces of pottery, Bon’s husband and friends encouraged her to display her work online and sell it.

Bon’s background is varied.  She has worked in hospital, residential and youth project settings as well as in the hospitality industry.  In more recent years  her personal experience of disability after an accident in 2009 left her wheelchair bound have led her to explore and investigate just how mental and physical wellbeing are linked.  Some of that time has been spent as a project developer around disability and advocacy, but through her own experience of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder linked to childhood trauma, she now works as an artist and art therapist.

Bon beat the odds and now not only walks, but runs for a local running club.  She knows that her determination and desire to understand how mental and physical health are linked have played a huge part in her recovery as there is no medical explanation as to why she did.  Fascinated by studies in to post traumatic growth in brain injury patients, and also by mental health and our attitudes to it, Bon is now adding to her diploma in child psychology with some more specific modules around both adult and child mental health and hopes to open up the wider conversation.  Educating children and young people on how to deal with and handle emotions and feelings as well as understand themselves and others is, Bon believes, key to producing the best generation we have ever had.

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Bon says of her paintings above, “The Hare in particular is very important in what I do.  We so quickly surround children with smiling happy faces in the artwork that we hang in their bedrooms and educational establishments, but this is leading them to believe that if they don’t feel like those pictures, then something is wrong with them.  The Hare shows no emotion.  It is up to the child to determine what he is thinking or feeling today.  They can use this Hare to communicate their thoughts and feelings more comfortably with adults.  I am hoping to develop this range and the concept to work alongside parents and education.
The landscape piece shows how my brain works as an artist.  It peels back and works in layers.  It took 48 layers to create that piece.  Each a different colour being built up so that the end effect is that your mind believes it could walk in to the distance of the painting.  The third painting shows my love of the coast.  Water and sand are a huge part of meditation and peace for me.”

Find Bon’s website here