On the 21st of November as a Project Assistant I had the opportunity to take part in Ash's group therapy art session at the Rainbow Tearooms on Watergate Street, Chester.
The people who came to the session were mostly people who had come to the LGBTQ+ workshops that Alex and myself had delivered in the previous weeks so the environment was comfortable and familiar, I think that gave us the confidence to open up to one and other. The table was set as a rectangle so that we were all sat around the same table which made it easier to make conversation.
I helped Ash set up the table and we made a spread of all the medias she had brought with her. She brought feathers, putty, paper in different colours, densities and sizes, there was oil pastels, pens, paints, sequins and much more, it was a good array of items.
Even though the table layout wasn't organised I think the mixing of colours and media was good for generating ideas.
The introduction was quite quick, she ran through what we were to do which was to create an art piece which personally represents "freedom". Some people knew straight away what they wanted to do but it took me some time to think about what i wanted to create.
Eventually I chose to work with oil pastels and pens, I created a scene in which I was on my own on a hill surrounded by nature, the tree next to me is a tree I know from my childhood, I remember running through many fields and exploring forests as a child so I think I remember the freedom of exploring and having wonder about the world around me. In this drawing I am represented as the purple figure which is meditating, being at one with nature. I find that when I am alone I have the power to choose what I want to do with my time, as much as I love being around my friends and family, I don't get a lot of time to my self, which I should do more often as I have learnt that from the session.
This was very therapeutic as I was thinking of feeling free and creating art, all in all the session was freeing.
At the end of the session we were told that we had the option to share what we had done, the majority of us shared shared, many of us had made art based from nature and the natural environment including weather, most people did mixed media, I like that it was open to all skill levels as well.
Ash then gave us 40 minutes to for the rest of the session, we shared our work and discussed our meanings behind them, it was very interesting and insightful to hear everyone's experiences and thoughts that brought them to make their personal art pieces. There were also conversations about healing, especially healing the inner child, it was nice to listen in and take advice as that is a topic I am very interested in.
The session was very healing and everyone left with a smile on their face, most people also took their work home with them.