Engaging Survivors of Trauma with Art that Heals
Art and Soul is an art-making process that allows people to connect to themselves, explore their spirituality, and express their authentic voice.
Sometimes Art and Soul is arranged around a
metaphor, such as "Thresholds." Other times it has a theme like "Self-compassion."
The work begins in people's heads but needs to move to their hearts. I provide conceptual material that we read and images that we look at before we begin to create. Emphasis is always on trusting the process rather than concern for the final outcome.
Chaplaincy skills allow me to hold space and deepen the conversation when participants are reflecting on their work.
We asked the questions, "What is prayer,? and "How does prayer work?" Our discussion expanded narrow and limiting notions into wider possibilities. Practicing non-attachment, everyone wrote their own prayers on cut-up paintings they had made. Then the words were made into beads and ready to be worn.
Detangling Story from Soul
Who is the true self? Are we our stories? Is there an essential self that exists apart from the stories we tell ourselves? We began our exploration by imagining a story for the person in the black and white photo and writing it on the page. Then we cut it away, separating the image from the story. Lastly, we played with art materials in response to wondering what the soul might look like.
Bold, Beautiful, Brazen Women
No more playing small and being diminished! We worked LARGE for this exploration, using sheets of paper or poster board, bright paint, thick papers and loud colors. Women reached inside, tapped into some playful audacity and let themselves be seen and "heard."