Thank you to all the children who stopped by on Saturday at my art therapy table at the Pottery Barn store in Chadstone Shopping Centre. The workshop provided opportunity for children and adults to explore their creative side. I was surprised to see how many parents were willing to leave their children with two friendly strangers – me, and my delightful daughter. Some parents stayed and watched and that was good too.
In our modern day, where we hear so many stories about lack of trust in the world, I wondered what it was about the art that made everyone feel relaxed and that they could trust the people and the environment. I’m sure a table covered in paints and pastels and pencils and coloured material is very welcoming, and that was certainly our intention.
Children naturally gravitate towards art. It is a simple way for them to connect with themselves and the world around them, which can so often be overwhelming and confusing. We saw how kids who presented in a shy way when they started, opened up with each progressive brush stroke on the paper. The art was like a conversation starter. It helped the children to examine their world and they were able to talk about what they were doing. One girl discovered watercolours for the first time while she created an imaginative story. She left the art therapy table very happy with the new story she had created.
I feel very grateful as an art therapist to be able to witness these emerging expressions of their inner worlds and to just ‘be there’ accompanying children in their journeys.
״Every child is an artist, the problem is how to remain an artist when you grow up!״ Picasso.