Arth Early Learning Spaces, a pre-school in Salt Lake, is hosting a series of dynamic workshops for adults and children that aim to help participants self-introspect and connect with their inner selves. On May 19, an art-therapy workshop, ‘Expressing the Self through Play & Art’, got the ball rolling on the series. My Kolkata brings you the lowdownPhotos: Amit Datta
“Expressive art therapy is an inter-module approach that helps people self-introspect through music, art, drama and storytelling. The intention behind the workshop is to help people learn more about themselves,” said Priyanka Chowdhury, the Expressive Arts Therapy practitioner, who was the lead facilitator of the workshop. The workshop began with a few ice-breaking games. The 15 participants stood in a circle, which signified a safe space, and played a fun game of catch identifying themselves with their names and pronouns as the ball was thrown to them
The group then played a game which had them assigning themselves a ‘nutty name’ — that entailed taking the first letter of your first name and adding an adjective that describes you best. Some hilarious combinations were thrown in — ‘Terrific Tejas’, ‘Sexy Sangoli’ and ‘Passive-aggressive Priya’ (this was jokingly assigned by a friend!)
The workshop then moved into the second stage, where participants found different corners around the studio where they felt the most comfortable to spend 30 mins introspecting, using a ‘Tree of Life’. “The ‘Tree of Life’ method is to draw a tree and assign various parts of the tree important aspects of yourself. The roots of the tree are your support system, the bark is your qualities, the fruits are your achievements and the branches are your aspirations,” explained Priyanka
Participants were given a host of art-and-craft materials to make the experience a colourful one!
The studio was scattered with participants devoted to the half-hour of art and self-introspection. “I liked this part of the workshop a lot because it helped me actually sit down and introspect, this isn’t something we do very regularly. It helped me pinpoint the things in my life that are closest to me,” said Komal, a participant
The workshop ended with a group art session where everyone drew a symbol on the same parchment paper that represented what the workshop did for them. One participant drew baby feet which signified the childhood nostalgia the pre-school brought back, two others drew colourful handprints and a rainbow that signified the burst of colour the workshop was, another participant drew a spiral that signified the thoughts we often have while introspecting and two others drew hearts with each of their fingerprints
The 15 participants with workshop facilitator Priyanka and the combined art piece
Ankur Agarwal, the founder of Arth Early Learning Spaces, also participated in the workshop. His self-assigned nutty name? ‘Awful Ankur’!
“Children are born curious, resilient, persevering and willing to collaborate. But I have noticed that as they grow up, their innate qualities are systematically weeded out. So, Arth hosts workshops like this for both children and adults to help nourish and nurture these innate qualities, so they have a better quality of life,” says Ankur. Arth Early Learning Spaces will be hosting similar workshops over the next few weeks @Rs 300 per head (approximately) and a five-day summer camp for children between the ages of 3-5 from May 23-27 @Rs 4,500 per head.