Wednesday, 24 July 2013

I am a mosaic star

I am a mosaic star is a guide for those new to mosaics written by Anne Riggs, artist for the SECASA art for recovery groups.  It offers techniques, ideas and inspiration.


Relationships with others are crucial to us as human beings.  We are pack animals and need others if we are to survive and thrive.  We are happier when we have meaningful and reliable relationships in our lives, such as with family, various communities, with friends, work colleagues, even animals.

Experiences of sexual and other abuse can deeply affect relationships – and those affects can continue into new relationships.  It is common to hear victims of abuse talking about the difficulties they have with trusting others, with forming and keeping friendships, or with finding caring a partner.  It is also common to hear that existing relationships are difficult.

In this collection of artworks, participants from the Cranbourne Art Group and TOTEM group have explored the theme of relationships.  The wonderful thing about art making is that is a place to dream and a place to feel.  It is the place to explore what is now and what may be possible for the future.   It is place to touch those tender feelings of wanting to find and feel love, to share our lives with others – even though right now might be a lonely time.  It is the place to express the gentle side of our character and the joy and comfort found in our relationships with others and our animal friends.

I love showing participants the work of artist Kathe Kollwitz for her talent in expressing the deep feelings of the mother, Andrew Whammond for his quirky and heartfelt paintings of human emotions, Alberto Giacometti for his amazing skills with the human form in clay.

Art and artists are always at the centre of these classes encouraging and guiding participants to explore, feel and express.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

East Bentleigh Mosaic Group - Me

These photos show some of the works in progress from the Mosaic Group. The women are creating works to put on a wall in the Monash Medical Centre, Moorabbin - the theme is ‘Me’. Each woman is depicting aspects of herself in the artworks - some thinking about the effects of trauma, others creating about what nurtures and inspires them.

We are coming to the end of the group - so works are well on their way to completion … as you will see in the next lot of photos!

Monday, 15 July 2013

Counsellor Jess on being part of the 2013 mosaic group

Jess reflects on her role as counsellor on the mosaic group.   She notes that when women  have found it difficult to come to the session on a particular day,  through the support and friendship of others, as well as creating together, they leave feeling uplifted and glad they came.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Totem group - Clay animals

We got our hands into the clay! At first the parents and children had a little play and most made animals which had lots of personality and a few quirky characteristics. Then we each made a coil pot. Some of the parents and children worked together –one creating the coils and the other created the pot by carefully joining and coils.

The pots were terrific and will be painted next week, fired and glazed so they can be used at home.

At the end of the class, I asked each parent to write a short piece about the work created by the child and for each child to write about their parent’s work. Each person to looked for and found the words to describe the good qualities of the pots, and some described how each person went about creating their pot. We heard words like AWESOME! Cool! Great effort!
It can be hard to appreciate the efforts of others sometimes. And it can be hard to find the words to express that appreciation – especially when relationships are difficult. In this exercise I could see a great capacity of each person to see and appreciate – the children were especially able to enthusiastically praise their parents’ work. It was really noticeable how important the parent relationship is to the child.

Monday, 8 July 2013

Cranbourne group - clay sculpture

These clay sculptures are the first efforts of some of the women in the Cranbourne Group. They are very impressive as well as expressive. In this class the participants learned some of the basics of working with clay as a sculptural medium as well as some of the techniques of getting the work to be expressive and structurally sound so it did not explode in the kiln! 

In this series, the women created their sculptures around the theme of ‘relationships’. We looked at various artists such as Kathe Kollwitz, Anthony Gormley and Alberto Giacometti for their unique styles of working with the figure and to inspire women to be creative and heartfelt in their approach to their art. 

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Monday, 1 July 2013

Collages from the Totem group

Nicola McCelland was a guest artist one week – she brought a magical collection of papers, natural materials, maps and images to explore, experiment with and create collages about places we love.   Here are some images :