A local student was this week announced as the Munster Provincial winner of the Mental Health Ireland Art Post Primary Competition.

Aileen Kent’s canvas painting, full of colour and life promoting an awareness of the importance of the environment, was described as ‘very unique’ and ‘a joy to look at’.

Aileen, from Caherdrinna and a student of Presentation Secondary School, Mitchelstown, is daughter of Helena and Éamonn Kent.

Aileen with her prizewinning entry. (Pic: Conor McCabe)

She received a €50 All4One voucher for her endeavour. Aileen said she found the inspiration for her prizewinning drawing through her love of horticulture and art.

Aileen was quick to pay tribute to her former arts teacher Margaret Leahy-Walsh, and also acknowledged the role her sister Gemma plays in her creativity.

“Gemma is a real inspiration to me. We work together on new ideas and she is the perfect devil’s advocate,” added Aileen.

The theme for Mental Health Ireland’s Art & Photography competition for secondary school children was ‘Mind Your Mental Health’. Issues including anxiety, self-harm and depression can be difficult for teenagers to talk about.

The feedback from teachers and students has been that this competition opened up a space for the students to think about their own mental health and those around them.

The exhibition took place in Dublin on Wednesday, 29th March with nearly 200 people from the four corners of Ireland in attendance.