Blog post 1 – Jan 21, 2016 by Kat Clarida
What an amazing group of people to brave brittle cold to come to the first Your Brain on Art: Art for Social Change workshop #1.
Yummy hot pasta and garlic bread followed by tea and cookies warmed us up and got us all ready to jump in and explore our brains on art. And although the fire alarm kept going off – we hadn’t even smudged! – we found a quieter, cocooned room to explore our inner lives and our perceptions of ourselves through collage, mandalas and poetry.
In these Expressive Art exercises, participants explored who they were not and then who they were to expose the contrast and the achievements they have made in their lives.
These were incredibly powerful artistic and emotional experiences as they found new ways to validate and express themselves; and in turn, provide support and validation to each other.
Some of the experiences we shared were: “I went through a lot of emotions and some of them were of very painful times, but when I completed my mandala I realized I have created a lot of ways of coping.”
For one participant on hearing the positive comments others had to say about their journey and strength said: “I just want to cry, thank you everyone for your support.”
These are the powerful impacts art has when used in an expressive way. It allows people to access many inaccessible parts of themselves and to find their hidden gems and strengths through their artistic expressions.
We also explored what is Art for Social Change and what we want to pay attention to over the next few weeks to define what our Social Change Art collaboration is going to address and what artistic modality would be the perfect medium.
It is obvious from this first workshop that the participants are not only passionate about art but what art can do to create social change. We are blessed.
For more than 30 years I have been most fortunate to work as an Artist, Consultant, Trainer and Producer for many cutting edge grass-roots communication for social change projects with diverse cultures from across Canada, primarily in the four Inuit land claim territories. Through the exploration of issues using all art modalities, I provide a safe place for people to explore their inner worlds and then proudly voice their world through art.