I had my first art therapy art class today and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I had no expectations and no true understanding of what would happen which is refreshing. I am used to being the teacher not the student and I learned a lot about opening up.
We had lots of tasks and a few examples were shown of how art therapy works.
The Class was held at Toma in Southend and I liked the space upstairs and down. It felt very COVID-19 safe but also a safe space to let go.
I was stumped a few times. Like when was the first time that ‘Art became a safe space for me’. The answer was hard to answer because art has never a safe space for me because I never needed a safe space. I never needed to escape. My earliest memories of art was with my brother and sister. Heads down, drawing away.
So the word I associated with healing was togetherness. So I didn’t draw instead I wrote the word.
I had a happy childhood and my family let us bloom with creativity. We weren’t rich but we always had food on the table, warm beds and most importantly we were safe.
I was lucky, so bloody lucky.
It was only when I started teaching art did it make sense to me. That I created a safe space for others. The children could talk and explore conversations whilst their busy hands were at work creating. That watching development is wonderful and rewarding. It’s also hard and I think that never changes.
Art therapy is about healing
The tutor Emma was brilliant and she opened my eyes. Every time I was stumped I would get emotional.
Why couldn’t I answer the question?
Why are my hands not moving?
As an art therapist you have to go to Therapy and it’s important that you go through the motions in order to learn and develop.
I never thought I needed therapy. But this year, like for so many of us has been hard but where most people have felt anxiety for me it has been rage.
Rage at the government, brexit, racism, homophobia,Islamophobia, antisemitism, transphobia, ableism, sexism, you name it, it’s pissing me off.
The more I learn the more I rage.
It’s not healthy and maybe I should start a sketchbook to explore my thoughts.
My parents have brought me up to love and appreciate everyone. They taught me you should only judge some on there actions and that’s it. How they look has nothing to do with it. My father faced enough discrimination in his life he didn’t want his children to treat others that way.
Art therapy is for everyone
It truly is. Art is for a lot of people escapism. It’s a freedom to express without a language, without explanation. You don’t have to be an artist, anyone can pick up a pencil and draw, doodle and create.
To me it’s always the plan of the drawing rather than the execution. The ideas and exploration rather than a final piece. My mind has a million ideas and I rarely take the time to execute them.
I need to start executing them.
This class opened my eyes to a future I want to achieve. A role in society that is about help rather than money.
I thought a lot about my father and my brother during the lesson. I also thought that actually I need some therapy myself. To get through the rage. It was tough to open up and I felt myself tearing up a lot.
I wasn’t expecting any thoughts or feelings that would be so personal. I feel like I am at the start of a journey and a career. I would like to create a safe space for people to create and develop.
Have you ever had art therapy?