Workshop: Lose Yourself to Paint

3 hrs
Bulli Surf Club

A prescription of painting to manage depression, anxiety and stress.

Painting is something we all did plenty of as small children. Who can help but laugh with delight at the sight of a small child immersed in painting! And the mess! Pain on clothes, furntiure, under fingernails, everywhere! It's a truly sensory, hands-on, colourful experience. It''s no wonder that so many painters talk about the quiet joy they experience from their work, or the countless studies that show how painting calms the mind, creates a meditative, relaxed state of mind, makes us feel good!

This workshop is co-facilitated with Rumpus, and begins with learning and understanding how to recognise anxiety, stress and hypo-arousal in our day to day lives. We learn how and why activities like painting actively work to calm our stress response, bring us into the present, and create a state of flow and focus.

Then, painter Clare Thackway will facilitate a gentle painting experience responding to music. Starting with a simple continuous line moving the brush to either the beat or melody in different pieces of music, lines start crossing over and responding to other people's marks. The aim of the workshop is to encourage free and expressive mark making and also encouraging mindfulness and being present in the action of painting. It's all about the process, not the outcome!

The workshop is inspired by the Daft Punk Song, Lose Yourself to Dance.

What to Expect:

A fun, gentle introduction to the medium of paint.

Some information about anxiety, stress and depression, and how painting works to awaken the pre frontal cortex and calm down our amygdala.

A safe, friendly, welcoming space to try, learn and enjoy. You won't be asked to do anything you don't want to do, or show and tell, share or talk in front of the group.

Anyone interested in exploring this topic is welcome. Whether you have a diagnosed mental health condition, or are looking for some more tools to maintain wellness, and everything in between, you are welcome.

This workshop is part of MakeShift - a social prescribing initiative that brings people face to face with a creative practice, to help manage anxiety, stress and depression. Make new habits, to shift the old ones.

Clare Thackway

Clare Thackway is a painter. She is interested in the ways we perform and move our bodies through spaces both literal and emotional. In her finely wrought portraits and figurative paintings, the body becomes a language through which she contemplates moments of universal human experience, from the emotional to the societal. Thackway brings a fascination with psychological theories to her figures, considering the ways in which the psyche and memory affect the ways in which we hold ourselves. Her current body of work investigates ideas of performance and the role of costume and drapery in mediating movement.

Thackway’s practice has been informed by her experience as a scenic painter and her interest in human relationships, and the ways in which we affect each other, has also been shaped by her work as an artist educator. As an artist educator, she has worked on contemporary art education and public programs with a specific focus on working with people with dementia and their families; people with lived experience of mental health; and all ages with disability and access requirements. She has undertaken program development, co-ordination and facilitation for organisations including Wollongong Art Gallery, Casula Powerhouse, Australian National University and Alzheimer’s Australia National. Since 2016 she has been an Artist Educator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia and in 2017 worked as the MCA’s Art and Dementia Program Coordinator.

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