When I tell people I am an art teacher, they all too frequently tell me, that they think they are not creative and they have not made art since primary school !!
Yet when I witness children in the HKIS artroom showing their parents how to learn a new artskill, I observe children and parents engaging in a deeply intimate way as the child often takes on the role of helping their parent to have confidence! I also hear parents describe their very own longing to create art themselves...........and yet often referring to a lack of time or confidence or space...
In response to this, Claire and I decided to facilitate a workshop day that would provide the time and space for both a child and parent to create together. This led to our very first Wild at Art "Mums and Daughters" day enabling Mums to intentionalise a whole day together, whilst being gently guided to make an artwork in celebration of that unique bond.
A gorgeous way to start the day .....with a spot of interactive doodling !!
So in a rather lovely location, overlooking Aberdeen Harbour and in the presence of 14 x lovely Mums and Daughters, we spent the day together creating art ........
Some mums were a bit intrepid about moving out of their comfort zone, so we began the day with a failsafe spot of interactive doodling, following the Wild at Art Doodle Recipe and gradually people loosened up and melted into the process, as they each created a segment and then swapped papers and responded to the doodle that the other one had created. The room was quiet as Mums and Daughters worked side by side, relaxing into a sense of play.
So then mums and daughters worked in two groups with Claire and I, sharing some thoughts about our respective roles, commonalities, joys, thorns and special moments.
Finding common feelings, shared joys....offering insights to each other along the way.
Culminating on the writing of some very tender loveletters........
These went on to be shared together.
Such gentle tenderness........and a few joyous tears...then everyone went on to develop our love shrines, creating memory pockets, and self portraits of each other.
My observation of the day was that the gentle sharing of a creative activity, in an atmosphere of neutrality and safety can encourage both Mums and Daughters to engage in a very intimate way, actively listening to each other and giving time to respond. Working on a project together provides a "third thing" to focus upon and can provide a necessary pause in life's web of busy-ness. Offering an opportunity to celebrate the good parts of being who we are, whilst nodding to the tricky parts, helped both our Mums and their Daughters to see that they also face the similar joys and challenges that other families do......and shared realisations can provide room for a little perspective to move in.
Both mums and daughters acknowledged the challenges of carving out quality time especially in multiple sibling families. It truly was a gift to all of us in the room! Some mums are returning in the Autumn for the next Mums and Daughters day with other sibling daughters as well!
What our Mums said :
The Mother Daughter Art Day was an incredible day of bonding with my daughter that allowed us both the opportunity to be creative, reflective, and have fun. It's one of those special days that Lily and I will remember for a long time to come. Naturally, Ava was a tad jealous. :) I will be signing up for future retreats with Katie and Claire they are amazing and even made a person like me who doesn't always feel very creative, feel really creative! It just was really well done from start to finish. I seriously loved every minute of it.
Erin Wright April 2015
“a uniquely special day for me and my daughter, I don’t think either of us have ever engaged in creativity in this way before but we both came away from our day with Katie & Claire with such a strong sense of being connected to each other & so proud of what we had created in the day”
Charlotte Douglas April 2015
Gorgeous day, Imogen wants to know when we can do another one!!
Emma Willmott April 2015
Polly keeps on saying it was the best day of her life...it was such an amazing experience, such a lovely thing to do ! You guys did a fabulous job!
Louise Keeping April 2015