The Therapeutic Value of Art at Gyaan Adab

The outcome of Swati's workshop 'Creative Blocks'
The outcome of Swati’s workshop ‘Creative Blocks’

Two eventful weeks

The Therapeutic Value of Art exhibition is a first of its kind in India, creating awareness about the significance of art as therapy. Curated by cultural communicator Susan Khare, the two week long exhibition was inaugurated on January 17th where Susan and her students shared their therapeutic journey in creating their art work. During the course of the next two weeks, numerous visitors from hospitals, social organisations and all walks of life dropped in to Gyaan Adab to admire the art work and understand the process of art as therapy.

Students from Kalmadi School, Aman Setu School, Orchid School, Sunderji School and Rewachand Bhojwani Academy visited the exhibition to learn about visual art and its therapeutic value. The students and teachers gained insights by interacting with the work and the artists. The students were intuitive and curious, asking questions about the techniques, materials and various styles they observed in the paintings and collages. The special needs students were fascinated with the anatomical and symbolic representations that they connected with in the art. Some students even helped artist Sam Bullough come up with creative names for his art work. The students were also given questionnaires to help them further explore and understand visual art therapy.

The group workshop conducted by Susan delved into group dynamics, individual interpretations of a specific theme and conversations through art. After interpreting the theme through art, the group discussed, analysed and shared their experiences that led them to create their painting or collage. The second workshop was for creative artists from different forms exploring the theme of ‘creative block’. The workshop, led by Susan’s student, Swati Namjoshi, helped participants transfer their emotions and energies faced during a block to paper through art. Susan’s day-long workshop began with specific exercises conducted to build trust and create an intimate and secure atmosphere among the participants. After experimenting and playing with paints, textures and colours, the participants represented themselves visually leading to introspection and discussion among the group.

The exhibition ends with a finale celebrating the creative arts on Friday, 30th January 2015.

Nityaasha Foundation