Stories of resilience told through the power of the creative process

by | Jul 3, 2020 | Creativity

Stories of resilience told through the power of the creative process

Hello Creative QB’s,

This is a story of resilience and creative courage.

Recently I met a group of women that through the process of expressing their creativity and making art, they are making new lives, building courage, confidence and incredible resilience. The creative process meets them where they are at, and the art rises to greet them there.

2 minute read

 

Teachers of life, compassion and empathy often come in the most surprising packages. Just when you think you have the way of the world sorted, something comes along and teaches you it isn’t the way you think it is at all!

I had this experience recently when I met a group of resilient, emerging and creative women who are re-claiming their lives as a result of domestic violence. The womens stories taught me much about courage, their creativity inspired me.

During the Covid Lockdown I was invited to contribute instructional video tutorials about my creative process, along with art tips and techniques to the women who are part of this art group facilitated by a family support service in the Hunter Valley. The artwork the women produced culminated in what would normally be an actual exhibition, but in the spirit of Covid, the exhibition went online. This past week the women came together for the first time post Covid to share morning tea, celebrate their achievements and generally have a delightful catch up with each other.

I want to take a minute to acknowledge the Family Support Organisation that facilitates this group and offers an important service, basically a lifeline to the women and their families in crisis from domestic violence.

The professional health workers who provide this support service are dedicated, compassionate and empathic, and above all they don’t give up. This and all organisations of this kind rely on Government and private funding to deliver skill-building programs. In fact it’s these grass-roots, community level initiatives that positively change women’s lives. But of course they can only deliver such programs with funding, but is so important, essential.

Even though we are in the midst of a worldwide epidemic with Coronavirus, the domestic violence epidemic in Australia was been around long before 2020. Reports of incidents and deaths of domestic violence in Australia are on the increase, it’s also reported that during the lockdown it has exponentially increased, leaving women and their families in ruin. I also want to acknowledge I am predominately speaking directly to the following statistics.

*Women are at least three times more likely than men to experience violence from an intimate partner.

*Women are five times more likely than men to require medical attention or hospitalisation as a result of intimate partner violence, and five times more likely to report fearing for their lives.

With funding and services such as the one in the Hunter Valley, women have a chance to change their lives, get the support and services they need to safely leave or put in place strategies of protection. I don’t think we can underestimate the important of this, for the women themselves, their children, the community and the future of Australian society.

So this week on an exceptionally sparkly warm, sunny mid winter’s day, the women came together and I had the privileged of being invited. Over home-made treats and kids playing on the nearby swings we chatted.

With pride and joy the ladies spoke about their creative process, eager to show me the artwork they make, the art journals they create and also share some of their story, many similar.

Some had loved art at school, but their lives where hijacked by a situation, many dropping out of school, for a boy, a pregnancy, or a family member, for whatever reason, a situation derailed their lives.

Any joy they experienced was long gone and replaced with the daily struggle of living with domestic violence and raising children the best way they can. In the art group they have permission to just be themselves, a safe place to explore their feelings.

When they come together in the group over shared experiences, they learn, laugh, bond and grow through the process of making art. Some paint, others draw, collage, bead, doodle, but they all show up and as a result they have a body of work to contribute to an art exhibition (this year online), called ‘Reclaiming My Place –  The Art Of Womens Knowing’.

Through the process of expressing their creativity and making art, they are making new lives, building courage, confidence and incredible resilience. The creative process meets them where they are at, and the art rises to greet them there. Combined with the professional services provided by the family support organisation, art becomes an agent of change, a transformational tool with knock-on effects in the community that can be measured.

The work shows a depth of wisdom, growth and personal awareness. It is expressive, raw and authentic. The group also produced a series of postcards with their work printed on the front, and personal quotes and thoughts on the back – these words are incredible and a real insight into their creative process, purpose and meaning.

I felt honoured to be with them. I learnt more from them, then they of me.

Please take a minute to support their work, browse the exhibition online, acknowledge their resilience and maybe even learn something about yourself though their creative courage.

CLICK HERE >> to view the exhibition

A happy, healthy, creative day to you!

Amanda ♥

 

 

Statistic Source:
In 2012, 17% of all women and 5% of men had experienced violence by a partner since the age of 15. Australian Bureau of Statistics (2013), Australian Bureau of Statistics (2013) Personal Safety, Australia 2012, Cat. No. 4906.0, Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), Canberra.

When they come together in the group over shared experiences, they learn, laugh, bond and grow through the process of making art. Some paint, others draw, collage, bead, doodle, but they all show up and as a result they have a body of work to contribute to an art exhibition (this year online), called ‘Reclaiming My Place –  The Art Of Womens Knowing’.
 

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