Connect with self using art
Free entry to Te Manawa’s Frida Kahlo exhibition is included in the ‘‘Fiesta de Mujeres’’ or Celebration of Women art therapy classes under way at Te Whare o nga¯ Wa¯hine, the Palmerston North Women’s Centre.
Describing the seven, or possibly more sessions, as a journey of self discovery based around Kahlo’s life experiences, facilitator Kat Steeneken says each member of the free Saturday art therapy group will also receive two canvas boards, along with insight into themselves.
‘‘Art therapy encourages us to look at who we are, what motivates us and our interactions with others,’’ Kat explains. ‘‘It’s about making a connection to yourself and helps you discover your identity.’’
Using visits to the exhibition and Kahlo’s life and art as discussion points, the classes opened with a screening of the film Frida starring Salma Hayek and Antonio Banderas.
‘‘Frida Kahlo had some significant things happen to her,’’ Kat says. ‘‘Art therapy can be tailormade to target issues such as grief, loss, frustration, hopelessness, family violence, health issues, injuries, and substance abuse. Frida was in a body cast, and she painted from her wheelchair. The message is ‘you can get through this’ and break through your barriers.’’
Kat says that people affected by trauma have their life perceptions changed.
‘‘Someone who has suffered say, child abuse has their vision of the world altered, and sees it as an unsafe place. But they might not think that their reaction to the world is any different to anyone else’s, so they could have problems with things like attachment.’’
‘‘The success of art therapy is its ability to help with reaching out, learning and growing. It opens doors, and lets us look deep within ourselves to see truths that might have been overlooked.’’
Among the topics covered are painting techniques, colours and meanings of seasons, hidden images, the passage of time in art, and painting with music. Although free, Kat says a koha is appreciated for the 10am-2pm classes.
Donations of paint and art supplies are welcome. Register on 355 9088 or through firstname.lastname@example.org
Kahlo’s SelfPortrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbirds (1940). Art therapist Kat Steeneken is offering a sequence of art therapy classes based around the work and life experiences of Frida Kahlo.