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Today was our fifth group art therapy session and consisted of the commencement of a group project which took up the whole of this particular session’s given time span. The art therapy facilitator firstly layed out onto the carpet a very large stretch of canvas where upon members of the group measured out equal sections which were then cut into separate pieces. A single piece of canvas was handed to each participant to work on in any fashion they wished. The ultimate goal was to have each participate complete a work of art that was representative of their carer experience. At the end of this artistic endeavour which is to take a number of weeks to achieve, we would then somehow bring all the individual artworks together as one sole piece of group artistic masterpiece!
RECEIVING MY PIECE OF CANVAS
In previous weeks, the art therapy facilitator had us engage in artistic activities that were to help us reach this point in being able to produce this particular work of art. So I had been thinking about working with paint on canvas, lace and crystals – that was about as much as I had been able to envisage. Once I had the canvas in front of me, it became clearer to me, where I should start. Just recently I had re looked at a video that TAC had made of me in 2011, about the loss of my son Ben to road trauma and about my art for therapy journey. I was listening to myself speak, I re-heard my words ‘try to build in my memory, the best of Ben, to carry him in my heart‘ – it then came to me what I was going to produce for this project, I would start with a large heart and that heart would dominate the canvas. I firstly draw a large heart onto a sheet of paper, folded it in half and cut around one side of the heart to ensure each side of the heart was the same in shape. I then placed this cut out heart onto the canvas and traced around the outer edging with a lead pencil. I mixed up a beautiful colour pink to fill the heart with and then mixed up a beautiful colour tangerine to surround the heart.
ABOUT ‘USING ART FOR THERAPY’ VIDEO
This video was produced by the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) as a CLIENT VIDEO featuring myself Karen Robinson talking about using ‘art for therapy’ for TAC’s 2011 ‘Picture This’ Exhibition. It was “ in its fifth year and provided people who had been affected by road trauma to use artistic expression, whether it was drawing, painting, printmaking, ceramics, photography or textiles, to share their experiences. The exhibitions showcased artwork by people who had either taken up art since being involved in a transport accident, or who were artists before their accident“. TAC (2013). Client art exhibition – Picture This 2013.
THE COMPLETION OF THE FIRST STAGE OF OUR ART THERAPY GROUP PROJECT
After we had all completed the very first stage of our individual pieces of art work, we all shared a little about our art work and only as much as we wanted to share. Some of us talked about the meaning of it, others talked about what they intended to do moving forward over the weeks to come. We then placed our precious art works in places around the venue in order that they could dry completely before working on then further, at next week’s art therapy session.
It amazes me every time, just how much value there is being a participant within this art therapy group. The art therapy facilitator involves the participants in all fazes of the decision-making process, so we are still deciding on how we will bring all the art work pieces together to represent the finished art work as one piece. I will blog each week with up dates to show how it evolves – art therapy at it best I feel…
At the completion of the art therapy session we packed up and headed across to the local restaurant for a bite to eat and a friendly chat. It’s a great way to finish up on a positive note and it always works for me…
NB: For the purposes of this weblog series “Art Therapy Group Sessions 2015“, I will not be mentioning any names or personal details of participants or even the name of the organisation that runs the sessions. Individuals have the right to privacy, so it will only be about my own experience – and broad statements about each particular session. I hope you will understand.
Whilst you are here – please check out my home page! My Art Therapy Journey – A window into the soul of an Abstract Artist through art therapy and storytelling…by Karen Robinson
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Your art group seems to be very nice. And your activities are very important.
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Hi Tania…thank you for commenting and they are a great bunch of people. They all come with some life struggles and the art for therapy does play an important part in being able to support them in someway – even if just for a couple of hours a week…sincerely Karen