WEEK 2 What Sustains Me,
What Gives Me Pleasure
and Strength
Imagery of strength and pleasure Imagery of strength and pleasure KC, Strength and Pleasure Back To Start of Week 2 Week Two began with sharing about what had been happening during the week. The artists then reflected on an exercise they did before the workshop began, where they chose images from the past. This led to powerful and moving stories from the time of diagnosis; stories about the trauma of the diagnosis, and for some, the stress of keeping it a secret and living a double life. The depth of our sharing further supported the development of trust, support and community. After the sharing circle, the artists worked with photographs that they had taken of things that gave them strength and pleasure. Reflecting on, choosing and working with these images reminded the artists of the positive and fortifying things in their lives. Symbol-making and realizations Symbol-making and realisations Back To Start of Week 2 Like many of the artists, Elizabeth gains strength and pleasure from her family, from nature and being outside. Working with these images strengthened feelings of resilience, pleasure and pride in herself and her achievements as she realised she wanted to be more open about her diagnosis: “I love the outdoors. I love the fresh air and bare feet in the sand and the warmth from the sun. And I'm not actually going to hide my face. I was going to but I'm not now because it resembles me and that's me.” Elizabeth, Photographs and Symbols Symbolizing personally meaningful imagery Symbolizing personally meaningful imagery Back To Start of Week 2 Working with imagery of strength and pleasure resulted in a deeper identification with the feelings that the imagery illustrated. This happened as the artists learnt how to simplify their images so as to create symbols. Working with symbols in this way is an important part of the Meditative Process Art method. This is because being reminded of, and working creatively with, what we have in our lives that gives us strength and pleasure, offers a sense of agency. The imagery Diane chose illustrated the support and pleasure she gets from her work, dance, buying her first reliable car, and her garden. She also added symbols of nature, freedom and an elephant: “I’ve always loved elephants. They're big and they’re strong. They’re also really family orientated. And they say elephants don't forget and I'm kind of bit like that. I might not say anything but I don't forget.” Diane, Photographs and Symbols Increased internal and bodily focus Linking personal meaning with symbols An important aspect of Week Two was the way the artists linked personal meaning with the symbols they created. Abbie described this, saying: “I put on my photo the purple down there, that's like an ocean. Yeah, I definitely get lots of strength and pleasure from the ocean. I actually really like going when it's really cold, just the beginning of winter. I feel like it re-energizes me. And the moon, I love looking at the moon, especially when it's full. But I like the look of the half-moon as well. Just got a little tree, little doodle there, and I've worked on my hawk.” The hawk is Abbie’s power animal Back To Start of Week 2 Abbie, Free Reinforcing feelings of strength and pleasure Reinforcing feelings of
strength and pleasure
As Katherine worked with personally meaningful symbols, both the symbolized versions of her photographs and imagery from the Visual Library, it reinforced her feelings of strength and pleasure. Here she describes a part of her process: “I just went for it. Funny feeling but I just went for it on my pictures, a whole lot of words. It's a bit hard to read them. Butterfly representing nature, there's the sun, there’s the moon, there's some love hearts, there's some flowers around the side, and this is representing water using the cross hatching and this is representing grass, this is meant to be sky like elements of nature.” Feelings of strength and agency were further enhanced when, like Katherine, we added words, color and drawing to our art work. These practices became an important support during the workshop and more generally in our lives. Back to Main Timeline Week 3 Back To Start of Week 2 Katherine, Together We Are Stronger