Expressing RELATIONSHIPS : art with victims of sexual assault

Relationships are crucial to us as human beings.  We are pack animals and need others if we are to survive and thrive.  We are happier, healthier and function better when we have meaningful and reliable relationships in our lives, such as with family, various communities, with friends, work colleagues, even animals.

Experiences of sexual and other abuse can deeply affect relationships – and those effects can continue into new relationships.  It is common to hear victims of abuse talking about the difficulties they have with trusting others, with forming and keeping friendships, or with finding caring a partner.  It is also common to hear that existing relationships are difficult.

In this collection of artworks, participants from the SECASA Cranbourne Art Group and TOTEM groups and the NCASA group have explored the theme of relationships.  wonderful aspects of art making is that it provides a place to dream and a place to feel.  It can be the place to explore the past and present, as well as what may be possible for the future.   It is place to touch those tender feelings of wanting to find and feel love, to share our lives with others – even though right now might be a lonely time.  It is the place to express the gentle side of our character and the joy and comfort found in our relationships with others and our animal friends.

I love showing participants the work of artist Kathe Kollwitz for her talent in expressing the deep feelings of the mother, Andrew Whammond for his quirky and heartfelt paintings of human emotions, Alberto Giacometti for his amazing skills with the human form in clay.

Art and artists are always at the centre of these classes encouraging and guiding participants to explore, feel and express.