Yesterday we had four different art workshops at Verstas. The theme was all about connecting and solidarity. Participants took part in the different workshops to express their creativity and explore different ways of connecting and solidarity. For many of the participants it was their first time working in such a diverse group. At first they felt out of their comfort zone, but with warmth and a friendly attitude everyone connected in an amazing way.
1.Painting the mural – solidarity
We painted a tree of solidarity on the wall at Verstas. Everybody got to decide what kind of piece they wanted to put up on the tree. Here’s some comments from the participants about the mural painting:
- “It was fun to paint together and see the art piece grow. It felt good and I admired everyone’s creativity. Though everyone had different ideas, in the end they came together and made a shared art piece.”
- “Great sense of creativity and atmosphere in the group painting the tree – I learned about how great it is to combine different artists working on one art piece.”
2. Art group – connection
Our theme was connection and what it feels/means to you right now. You could take a memory or experience of belonging and presence. There were all kinds of materials available and the goal was to enjoy the process of art making. Some comments from the participants:
- “I felt that the activity was very mindful. I felt being a part of the group because after the drawing we all listened to what we had to say about our drawings.”
- ” It was a lot of fun. It was interesting to see other people’s take on the theme. Yes – I felt being part of the group when we were going through our finished works in the art workshop and discussing about them.”
- “I think the art group was very positive and it was nice to hear the Irish participants thoughts about the subject. Today I connected with a lot of people!”
3. Collage, making self-portraits and joining together as a group picture
We had a guest instructor, Milvi Taimi leading the third art group. The task was to make a self-portrait using pictures from magazines, and then combine them as a group picture.
- “I really enjoyed sticking the paper onto my face (I draw my face on the paper first), I found it relaxing. I was chatting away with people during the art workshop. I liked talking and getting to know other people.”
- “It was really nice activity. I have never done anything like that. All the Irish participants are lovely. I just feel a bit sad that my English isn’t that strong.”
- “Doing the collage was really fun, although we didn’t really speak to each other in English. But I felt really creative and such.”
4. Photography – Taking a picture about connection
The group had 5 Finnish and 4 Irish participants. They got paired up together and each had a mission to connect with their pair, talk about connections and take a picture about the theme connection. Then we came back to Verstas and they got to choose the best picture and edit it. After they finished editing the photos, we went to the 3D Crush Cafe to print, laminate and finally talk about the pictures. (Also – we got to pet some bunnies!) Some comments about the photography group:
- “I felt connected, and part of the group, specially while editing the photograph. I felt happy.”
- “I found it being a nice opportunity to talk with the Irish participants. I felt being a part of the smaller group.”
- “It was fun to wander around the park outside. Being paired up with the Irish participant at the start of the group helped a lot.”
“Connecting with nature. I feel peaceful and relax.”
Breaking through the language barrier, connecting through camera lens.
Relax and smile… Nature can give you more than you think.
“We noticed the ducks in the pond connecting with each other.”
93% of communication is non-verbal. Ducks don’t need to talk to feel comfortable with each other. Yet – being in a safe place, surrounded by familiar faces makes you feel connected.
“Connecting with the trees and with each other. We tried to take a picture first with only 3 people, but we couldn’t reach the other tree. Se we asked another participant from the other group to join us.”
Asking for help is worth while if you want to reach your goal!