A year ago I began a small creative women’s group in the art room of a local school. Over the past 12 months it has grown and I now run 4 women’s groups where each week I supply a different, exciting project. I am not an artist or a teacher but due to my own story, I am passionate about giving women of all ages and abilities, a safe space to come together and connect using creativity as the tool! Creativity is so undervalued when it comes to being used as a tool to aid mental health and I made it my mission to share that.
Between 30 and 40 women join me on Monday or Tuesday evenings or Monday or Thursday mornings from across Geelong and the Bellarine. We have done everything from paint pouring to mosaic to collage to alcohol inks and due to my adhd need to try everything, the list goes on!
The sessions are a rollercoaster. Tears of laughter or pain are often shared as well as baileys toasts to benign tumours and breakthroughs. One thing I underestimated was the power of having women with varied abilities from all walks of life and all ages together in one room. These women range from 18-75 and whilst most have suffered or do suffer with mental health issues and trauma, many have physical disabilities too. The connections that have formed between women has been amazing. Women who may never have connected in ‘real life’ now meet up on weekends or during the holidays when there is a break from my sessions.
The stories and current experiences that are shared weekly leave me speechless, blown away by the strength and vulnerability of these women and lately Ive been left feeling like I am unqualified for this honour. The feedback however and love and joy from these women each week reminds me I am doing something right.
Funded by Geelong (October 2023)