Art sends positive message after tragedy

YOUNG Aboriginal artist Michael Watson is on a quest to stop substance abuse.

Watson, 18, of Mt Druitt, hip-hop MC Roy Peterson and artist Lionel Wood play a key role in a social media health campaign called Tru Story Cuz, which launched in October at the Information and Cultural Exchange (ICE) in Parramatta.

The month-long campaign tried to start a conversation among Aboriginal youth about abuse of alcohol and drugs by using video clips, audio tracks and hashtags from artists on social media.

Watson's artwork A Group of Seven was used in the campaign.

The indigenous dot-painting depicts the journey of friends who, over time, dwindle from seven to three due to the misuse of alcohol and other drugs.

"I lost both my parents," Watson said.

"My mum used to do all the bad drugs but then she was off it for a while.

"But she tried it again and then she overdosed.

"Dad had cancer. He [dad] had lung cancer which was caused from smoking too much.

"I connected with that project even more because it's sending that message of something that I'm really close to and that affected my life this year," he said.

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