WHETHER YOU BOAST AN UBER ARTISTIC STREAK OR ARE FLAT OUT DIFFERENTIATING YOUR MACRAMÉ FROM YOUR CROCHET OR YOUR ACRYLICS FROM YOUR OIL PAINTS, RESEARCH HAS PROVEN ART IS THE PERFECT THERAPY.
“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life,” Pablo Picasso Anecdotally, artists the world over will tell you that art is therapy. But did you know that many, many studies have also proven that same point? In 2007, Chloe Bell and Steven Robbins looked at randomly assigned to either create an artwork or to view and sort a series of art prints. Three measures of overall negative mood and of anxiety were collected before and after each intervention. in negative mood and anxiety in the art production group. They proved the simple act of creating a work of art produced dramatic reductions in negative mood. In 2012, Reneevan der Vennet and Susan Serice also proved that colouring a mandala pattern reduces anxiety. “The creative adult is the child who survived.” Let’s get one thing clear – art is not just about little kids and stubby Crayola crayons. The recent adult colouring-in book craze was proof of that. There were, and still are, a multitude of colouring Creating art, whether that’s meticulously colouring in a detailed sheet, putting paint on a canvas or way to stimulate your brain and has many proven seen improved quality of life via creating art. All types of art are generally relaxing. Relaxation lowers stress and leaves you mentally calm. Other studies have shown that producing art enhances problem-solving skills, boosts self-esteem and provides a sense of accomplishment. “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” Colour My Pot is a ceramics studio in Cleveland, artistic muscle or just take some time out to do ceramic piece from the range available then set about decorating that piece with the paints and tools provided. One week later, once the item is Colour My Pot director Fleur Colgan says she gets a good mix of customers through her studio, from little kids to seniors and novices to experts, but one of the growing areas of her business are adult classes and social painting events which are often booked out well in advance. She regularly sees groups of friends meet up to enjoy eachother’s company just as much as they enjoy the artform itself. “It’s a really popular thing,” Fleur says. “People love to come along, be social and paint a piece – there’s no thinking involved, it’s all about relaxing with it and you get a lovely reward at the end.” “Art can permeate the very deepest part of us, where no words exist,” Eileen Miller Fleur often sees customers “lose themselves in art”. “They might come in a little hesitant to start with, thinking they can’t paint. But then I see their body language change. Painting seems to bond strangers.” Fleur says there’s nothing better than watching pieces on their return visit. She says there is such joy in their faces when they realise that they’ve actually created a piece of art. “Art is our one true global language. It knows no nation, it favours no race, it acknowledges no class,” Richard Kamler kids as it does on adults. Speech pathologist and occupational therapist Samantha Daley says
Words: Belinda Glindemann