I love taking photos – and especially love taking photos in nature. I can happily spend days wandering around the bush drawing and taking photos.
In addition to being a practicing artist, I work in trauma recovery with victims of sexual (mostly childhood) abuse, and teach in higher education. One exercise I give participants is to go for a walk with a camera for half an hour and take ten photos of Beauty. This simple exercise helps participants to look carefully, and they see the world with fresh eyes. Not as a totally negative, dangerous, or scary place – but one where there in beauty and wonder. They also get half an hour exercise – a great way to lift feelings of depression, isolation and negativity.
I have noticed that after a while, taking photos becomes a way of their life – especially for women who have participated in my Art and Recovery Groups. Cameras are bought. Creative walks are the norm. Groups are joined. Photos are posted. They start to take photos that are abstract, creative, sometimes obscure but always purposeful. Life is different.
Art changes lives.
photos by Anne Riggs.