Let’s get creative – the benefits of art making!
Professional artist and Arts & Crafts Centre workshop leader Shaeron Caton-Rose shares her insights into how making and creating art can be beneficial for people with disabilities.
“For me, making art is a way of communicating using non-verbal and non-written language. It enables many people who otherwise struggle to talk about their ideas and their feelings to express themselves. It also helps people to discover within themselves what their thoughts and meanings are – the process of making art (not the product) helps them to have a ‘conversation’ with themselves about what they are trying to say and what they really think.
Art also offers a social experience, in which groups of people can sit in companionable silence and become absorbed in a creative process. The focus on artworks helps people to relax and then to start talking between themselves – often the most profound discussions happen in this context.
When people are enabled to focus on the process they are often amazed at the product and this is a cause for celebration. There is a sense of achievement and joy from having made something beautiful.
People with a disability may face challenges with language and learning. This is why art offers such a rich source of enjoyment and achievement. Something that disabled people bring to art practice is their straightforward willingness to ‘have a go’. They have a fresh ‘child like’ approach which is the envy of many a professional artist who spends years trying to return to this state of mind to be able to make striking and original artworks.
People with disability bring an immediacy to making art which is refreshing. For this reason, in many parts of the world including Europe and America, artworks made in this way are collectors’ items, sold for millions, classified as ‘outsider art’, ‘raw art’ or ‘art brut’. We are not very good at this in Britain….yet!
The social context is also a great advantage to people with disability. For this reason, we like to ensure our Art Makers mix, enabling them to work on both individual and group projects. If you ask most Art Makers what they enjoy about their visits to the Centre, the top answer will be meeting and making friends.”
You can find out more about Shaeron’s work as a professional artist and view more images of her most recent installations on her website.
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