Amy, Josh x Zaide

0:00
0:00

A shared journey towards trust, compassion and support.

For siblings Amy and Josh Boyd, navigating the complexities of their interwoven yet individual mental health experiences has had its challenges. Through this emotive portrait series, artist Zaide Harker uses colour, form and positioning to help the two express their unique perspectives, exploring the impact that mental ill-health can have not only on the individual, but on those closest to them.

Amy Boyd (she/her)

This expression is the representation of two individual, yet shared experiences between me and my younger brother, Josh. Seeing Josh go through his mental health challenges, and not knowing how to support and care for him, was extremely difficult. I so badly wanted to connect with him during his experience with depression, anxiety and psychosis but didn’t know how. I felt guilty, depleted, and anxious, and consequently fell into a vicious cycle of giving too much, burning out, and withdrawing. For this expression, I wanted to shift the focus from individual experiences of mental health challenges, to focus on the shared experience.

Josh Boyd (he/him)

The biggest challenge I faced during my experience was speaking out about my mental health to family, friends and medical professionals. A lot of that had to do with the feeling of being a burden towards my family and friends because I knew I wasn’t well, but I didn’t want to put people in a position where they would constantly have to worry about me. Not being able to voice my thoughts and get everything off my chest only made things worse for me, ultimately sending me into a much darker hole than before. The inspiration behind this artistic expression is all about finding your voice, which I am so glad I finally could. Being able to talk to someone close to you, like my sister Amy, was the biggest step I took in getting better.

Zaide Harker (he/him)

There is a separate portrait each for Amy and Josh, which were created with oil on canvas. The pieces can be presented with Amy and Josh facing each other as if in conversation. Swapping the positions of the two portraits sets the subjects back-to-back looking apart from one another. The paintings were created this way to capture the shared value of an individual experience.

MY VISIBLE MESSAGE

Caring for loved ones who are experiencing mental health challenges is about balance, and it’s important to maintain boundaries, self-compassion and be able to trust one another to step back when it’s appropriate.

I want people to view this expression and know that mental health is a finite resource, and you can’t neglect your own while prioritising someone else’s. I also want people to know that while another person’s mental health can be your concern, it is not your responsibility. If you are struggling with your own mental health as a support person, it’s important to step back, assess your boundaries, and extend the same trust in your loved ones that you want from them.

Amy

The most important message I hope people will take away from this creative expression is that even during the times that feel so hard to find your voice, speak up to others about the things in your life that are really bringing you down. It is so important to let the people closest to you know you’re not feeling your greatest. Having that first line of support was everything in getting myself better, a family member or a friend just to turn to and talk about the stuff that was hurting me the most.

Josh

The collab

I began the process for the expression with trials of different palettes. This involved creating small sample paintings which captured aspects of the human figure. For the final piece I decided to go with more muted colours, so not to detract from the expression of the subjects. The final expression is layered and takes on a different aesthetic depending on the angle you view it from.

Zaide

Being able to share my story with Zaide, and have him hear Josh’s side was really powerful. He held our story with such understanding, compassion, and importance and I feel it really comes through in his work. Seeing what he then created was breathtaking.

Amy

Having the opportunity to have someone express my own shared thoughts and to have them display it artistically was incredible. I have only ever seen myself through a mirror, but when Zaide revealed the finished artwork I was honestly speechless.

Josh

Amy Boyd (she/her)

Amy is passionate about building the capacity, resilience, and literacy of people who have loved-ones experiencing difficulties with their mental health. In her position as an Australian Youth Advocate for Mental Health, Amy hopes to be a representative for young people who are supporting family and friends through their mental ill-health.

Josh Boyd (he/him)

Josh became involved in Visible through his sister Amy. His mental health journey started halfway through his school years, developing depression, anxiety and a first encounter with psychosis. Josh has battled with these challenges for the last six years, but can finally say that he’s in control of his own mental health, feeling healthy, happy and able to live his own life without any setbacks. He is passionate about many things such as photography and drawing, but sees graduating from school as his biggest achievement to date.

Zaide Harker (he/him)

Zaide Harker is a 24-year-old artist based on the Gold Coast. He has spent the last 12 months dedicating more time to his painting and developing an artistic style. He began with painting friends and progressed to the work undertaken for Visible.

Other expressions you may like

Help us understand the impact of Visible.

Thanks for checking
out Visible.

It would really help us to understand the impact of Visible if you could tell us how much you agree or disagree with the following statements

My experience with Visible today helped me to…

Feel connected to someone else's experience of mental health

Strongly
disagree
NeutralStrongly
agree

Visible is a movement initiated by the Australian Youth Advocates for Mental Health (AYAMH), co-ordinated by headspace and guided by 9 National Mental Health organisations.

Visible would like to acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as Australia’s First People and Traditional Custodians. We value their cultures, identities, and continuing connection to country, waters, kin and community. We pay our respects to Elders past and present and are committed to making a positive contribution to the wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people.

headspace is committed to embracing diversity and eliminating all forms of discrimination in the provision of health services. headspace welcomes all people irrespective of ethnicity, lifestyle choice, faith, sexual orientation and gender identity.

headspace National Youth Mental Health Foundation is funded by the Australian Government Department of Health. headspace National Youth Mental Health Foundation Ltd is a health promotion charity that has been endorsed as a deductible gift recipient. ABN 26 137 533 843