From Leena Shah
It was an incredixperienble ece to be at mother mercy’s home and to teach an art workshop . I had eight children in my class 6 girls and 2 boys . I was very excited to be doing this workshop and having a chance to touch these children in a positive way . We did a number of different exercises and 1 main project in the 4days we had . Before we began an exercise I would explain to them what we’re going to do by showing them an example of how to go about it and I had an assistant ,Susan , who is an incredible person she talked to each person individually if they didn’t understand the exercise .When we finished an exercise we would sit in a circle and each child explained and shared with everyone their process ,what emotions came out and what they had learned and experienced.
- Self portrait -it was a great way to break the ice and to tap into their sub consciousness (they did this with their eyes closed ),create self awareness and write down the goals each had in their life . They all did it very well and they understood how the goals would help them in their life going forward and I got to know each child better.
- Collage – the main project was to do a life size collage with their own photos . They chose the photo they liked of themselves and then I explained to them that this project was very special and I told them they have to be proud of themselves and make a beautiful collage using newspapers, magazines, fabrics, paints , crayons and beads . I told them to use all the art materials to express themselves , make themselves confident , proud and loving of themselves . All the kids dove in and enjoyed the process that was very healing ,they used amazing colors of fabrics ,cut outs of newspaper and magazines.As it was a big project I broke to down over 4 days.
- Mandala – a Sanskrit word – describes the circle drawing . Mandala means – centre, circumference or magic circle .the symbolism of a circle : it does not have a beginning or an end and therefore shows change and growth that as one draws it changes as well . Mandalas are therapeutic to draw and then look at and meaning discovered . They are used for insight,self expression , healing and transformation . All the children did the mandalas and they all came up with amazing insights . Their mandalas were very touching .
- I am special necklace – we used colorful hard papers , they chose the colors they liked . I asked them to draw freehand a circle or an oval and write in it I AM SPECIAL and decorate around it using the crayons . Then they made a hole and threaded a string through it and wore it.They wore their necklaces everyday and they are all so special.
- Doodling– This was an exercise of drawing without thinking . It’s for letting your feelings and emotions out from deep within . It’s was fun to do with pencil and pen . They enjoyed it but couldn’t believe you could draw without being judged or bring critiqued.
- Painting – this was an exercise of having fun with all the colors of paint ,it was amazing to see what was coming out from within . 2 children were facing a lot of difficulty in their lives and it showed in their paintings. To me it showed that they need help to deal with their issues in their life and with time they would heal.
- write up of what they did – After finishing everything ,Susan gave them books and asked them to write down what they did in the workshop everyday.
- on the last day every child put their work together and did a presentation of their work infront of everybody present . It was a great moment of achievement for all the children and they were all shining with self confidence . As a teacher of the workshop I felt very satisfied that I was able to touch these children in a positive way.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to do the workshop . I am very happy it gave me the opportunity to share what I have learnt in my life as an artist.