Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Peace in our hands

In response to the Boston bombings

"I saw it at work, on the television"
"People died, there were bombs, two clouds of smoke, it was scary"
"There was broken things everywhere"
"People got hurt"
"There were bombs"

These quotes were some of what the Mixed Media students shared about the traumatic events of yesterday. We opened the evening by discussing with the group what we knew, what we heard, saw, thought of the Boston bombings. A way of processing what was inside – bringing it outside. 

My idea for the night was the theme of peace. We acknowledged our own hand in the process through art. We sit closely together on one large table. We discussed peace – as harmony, as not harming others, as peace for all. 

Each artist begins by tracing their own hand and then filling it with what peace meant to them. 


Some selected colours. When I asked this artists which colour he would like that reminded him of peace, he selected the orange pencil. Mel, our assistant for the night noticed that orange represents harmony – we had a lot of moments and connecting of ideas over the evening. 


For some it also included words.


We had a discussion about the word dignity, a question raised by one of the participants. A google search of the word revealed respecting others, what being ethical means, what we value. We discussed how we treat others as we want to be treated. I then shared my keywords/phrases on peace that I had also 'goggled' and noted down before leaving home: (all of which the group had already voiced – they knew peace well)

a statement of harmony
lack of violence
freedom from fear of violence
healing relationships
equality
health
safety
friendliness


One by one, as hands were complete, the artists placed their own on a group piece of paper. 
There was great consideration of placement, where and how did you want your hand to be.


Two hands reach inwards – 'brothers' connecting to each other.
One reaches off the page. 
Another is placed lightly touching another – a gentle touch, just like it's owner. 
They are all connected. 


As we shared what we now knew about peace one artist realised that we needed to write PEACE 
on our now group piece. 


Each artist selected a colour to represent peace and took their turn to make their PEACE mark. 


We left it on the wall of the North Studio at Sussex Neighbourhood House 
as a reaching out and statement of peace. 
Please feel free to add to it if your passing.

Peace is in all our hands. 


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