This blog post will discuss one subject, rather than a rundown of what SA&T is up to generally.
I'm going to describe using a collective looking exercise. This can be helpful if you are working without art materials / lack time and space for setting them up, or with a group whom might not take to art making; whilst still using the power of art and externalisation.
On 6th Feb, I contributed to another Doctors of the World training, for new volunteers on the theme of Vicarious Trauma (VT). This time it was a short 30 minute session slotted in with their established training for new recruits.
After discussing what people knew of Vicarious Trauma, Compassion Fatigue, and Burnout, I placed a painting in front of the group and without giving an insight to the work asked them what they saw.
We then discussed resilience and self care, then looked again at the painting. A smile was detected, and soft white socks on the horse. This was a piece by Omar Ibrahim, whom I later described as a resilient Syrian artist, with a serious and long standing art practice. His painting has specific meaning, of the city fallen down, and of hope, symbolised by the bird. I only described this after the workshop, for the purpose of the exercise.
Continuing on the subject of resilience and VT, I asked the group to look at a painting from the seaside in Brasil (below). It was said that the houses appear to be hugging, there is a sense of community and the wall looks like it is to stop people going over the edge. There was also a suggestion of the sun rising and setting - there will be another day.
This exercise is one that I first learned at the British Association of Art Therapists training for working with organisations and teams. It was convened by Val Huet in Islington, London.
Feel free to get in touch for more information. Notes from the DOTW workshop are here as a PDF.
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