|Collage by Lani with element from Teesha Moore.|
"The creative source is a room hidden inside you. Wonder is a door that - for an instant - opens to give you a glimpse inside. Wonder entertains mystery, builds a nest for the unknown and unknowable, and it lures you down the path less traveled." -Mari Messer from Pencil DancingWhile preparing for our November workshop at the Expressive Therapies Summit in New York City, Susan Anand and I employ one of our favorite signature strengths, curiosity.
Do you know about the groups of African-Indians who live on the west coast of India and Pakistan? They've lived there since the first century and are part of the African Diaspora. The most interesting history is available at the New York Public Library website. Siddi women in Karnataka create amazing, colorful, and dynamic quilts (kawandi), with the family’s discarded clothes. You can see examples of these quilts and the quilters on the NYPL website as well as on Henry John Drewal's website. (The way the quilters work must be very similar to the way the quilter's of Gee's Bend work.)
But being a curious person, easily awed and filled with wonder, I wondered how the quilts were actually constructed. Margaret Fabrizio, a prolific quilter and vlogger, went on a trip to India to meat the quilters and find out how they do what they do. She describes the process in her vlogs. Actually I think the process is simply magic and art, but you can be the judge.
For more on this quilting technique and other cultural threads, sign up for the Expressive Therapies Summit and our workshop.
Mark your calendars for Friday, November 9 10:00 am – 5:15 pm
Exploring Cultural Identity & Strengthening Resilience through Story and Cloth
Lani A. Gerity, DA, ATR
Susan Ainlay Anand, ATR-BC, ATCS
In this Master Class class, we will weave experiential art-making (simple narrative cloth structures, group mural and individual pieces), with resilience narratives and an examination of cultural strengths. Using case material from a variety of populations ranging from the chronically mentally ill to depressed communities in the southern U.S. and in Canada, we will explore how the simple act of working with cloth and fiber in a group, while telling stories and listening deeply, can enhance compassion, curiosity, and even appreciation for beauty across cultures. Particular attention will be paid to the difficulties of working with populations from cultures other than our own, as we examine strengths, resilience, and the culturally syntonic ego ideal. Through storytelling, deep listening, and stitching, we will learn how to support a culture of resilience and inclusivity within our art rooms and other treatment settings.