15 November 2017
The Power of Art … – By Interchange Australia Consultant, Julie Doran
Art is a very individual activity even in a workshop. The artist enters their own little world, a world full of possibilities. Art stimulates the creative mind and allows the artist to isolate themselves from reality in a positive way. It also provides mental rest that lowers stress, generates relaxation and feelings of happiness. The results can be quite amazing and significant for people with a disability.
Art can make an individual feel more human; it helps them communicate in a different, personal language. This is a great benefit for those who have conditions which makes communication an issue or who have problems expressing themselves.
Mobility/Fine Motor Skills
Learning to hold and handle a brush/pencil or other media helps regulate hand movements and stimulate brain connections while the skill is being learned. For many older people and individuals with a disability this helps strengthen fine motor skills.
Doing your art in a non-competitive, relaxing environment enables the artist to have great personal achievements, which in turn strengthens the individual’s self-esteem. People who are co-dependent, have experienced trauma, or are elderly will benefit from activities that can strengthen their autonomy.
Concentration and Healing
People who immerse themselves for several hours painting or creating something tend to enter a very strong state of concentration – they remove themselves from their surroundings and time passes by without notice. Physical pains fade away, and it is almost like entering another dimension without leaving the body. This concentration state is called Alpha; one part of the brain is conscious and the other pulls the unconscious out. We can spend hours without feeling tiredness, pain or other conditions. This is a state similar to that achieved through meditation, music, aromatherapy, and being in love.
Mental and Emotional Health
Painting gets us distracted from our problems – it helps us take anguish out and transform it into something tranquil. This helps us identify feelings and increase our expressive capabilities. This is especially significant for people with nervousness, mental health conditions or people going through an emotional imbalance. Adults who learn to paint can overcome fear of confrontation and learn perseverance. They are able to create something that belongs only to them – a personal project that is unique and enormously satisfying.
Emotions are part of the creative world, and we all house different emotions inside. Making those emotions flow through art helps create harmony between the heart and mind, which can then lead us to experience happiness, love, empathy and peace. Within this chaotic world we live, the visualisation and relaxation that we obtain through art are tools that anyone can carry with them.
Drawing and painting stimulate both the left and right brain hemispheres. The first deals with the rational, logic elements and the second one maximizes our creativity and emotions. Painting is helpful during the growth and development stages of children as well as in adulthood. It is very valuable in fighting illnesses like Alzheimer’s disease, boosting the imagination and memory of patients.
Art has all the benefits of good entertainment: we laugh, socialise, learn something new, feel motivated to finish what we start, appreciate nature and feel passion for something good.
At Interchange Australia, we offer Creative Creations on a weekly basis as part of our Day Options Program and host regular weekend workshops. For more information, please call Kelly on 1300 112 334.