I recently started a new Art Group with women affected by sexual abuse and/or domestic violence at the South Eastern Centre Against Sexual Assault in Seaford. This time we are painting.
We have a lovely group of ten women, and one SECASA counsellor, coming together each Friday to create art, learn new skills and be part of a creative community.
These groups are regular and very popular with the women who come. They enjoy being with other women who have a shared experience of abuse, who they know, will understand them. However, almost without fail, our participants do not want to dwell on their trauma in these groups – but yearn to explore their artistic selves, to try new things, to make art that they can be proud of, as well as being part of a community.
Abuse can devour self esteem and a sense of belonging. The art groups provide a place where women can discover, explore and nurture other aspects of themselves.
Week One. Colour exploration.
The art table, week two
Participants are learning about colour and design. The first step in a project inspired Nepali Mithila art.
In our groups the SECASA counsellor is an active participant. Here is her colour palette – and her border for a larger painting
A little game from my art school days to help free up the imagination. We call them 5-minute Specials – a way to use up all the paint before we pack up for the day.
some of the finished paintings inspired by Bengali and Nepali art :