The Body Change workshop is for women who have all had a physical condition that required medical intervention. Interested in what their bodies went through in terms of anatomy and physiology as well as the emotional side of recovering from illness, the workshop has also produced a powerful body of art that expresses their journey.
“I painted this picture because I needed to finally accept what I have been through. I decided to pick the strong image of an Amazon Warrior Woman to live up to, after all if they could go through mastectomy without any of today’s anaesthetics or pain control just so they could be better archers surely I could do the same with that help.
I got through the treatments well but was highly depressed for months after with no money, having lost friends because I did not have the energy to go out and keep them up and a memory with huge holes and no confidence
The Amazon image kept me going. Also I heard someone saying the best revenge is to live well. I agree. I forced myself out to a Feel Good Festival and that slowly started the ball rolling. It is a long climb I have been on with so many people helping me along the way, including some free counselling sessions from Lisheens House which made a big difference.
I am now happier than I was before. I’m lucky to be here. I hope my honesty will help people and maybe get them to talk about cancer and mental health more openly and face fears more easily”
FEED BACK ON SESSION 5
Today we finished up our art work and hung the exhibition. There was a great feeling of achievement and “overcoming “.
We felt we have accepted what we went through more since being part of this group, supporting each other and expressing our journey in art.
“I now have a feeling of assimilating the change that happened to my body and also accepting that change. I don’t resent cancer as I used to , I see it as a part of my life.”
“I have enjoyed being part of this group and I am aware that I have watch when my stress levels go up”
Art from the workshops can now be see in Lisheens House Education Training Centre Ilen Street Skibbereen
Caring2Create Art workshops are provided free to small groups in line with our ethos “Promoting Positive Mental Health through the Arts”
For more information – Karen Billing Lisheens House Arts Coordinator
In this session we put the finishing touches to the images we had created to illustrate our journey through illness.
We discussed how we would feel about exhibiting our pictures and agreed that it may be of help to others. We decided to show are pictures at the Lisheens House Centre in Skibbeeren and would create the display next week.
We are also are thinking of making a short film about the process of the art making and support we gave each other in this group
We all reported feeling stronger when talking about our individual journeys and more able to accept what happened to us along the way
“I have found this group very rewarding”
“I was able to feel I was now in a good place”
“When I drew the stress mind illustration it was a huge help because I could see how much I was trying to do “
“The experience in this group has been very positive. If I know that someone will be able to take some healing from my experience and my painting it will make it all worthwhile “
“I have better acceptance about what I have gone through, this groups has helped. I don’t feel as angry any more. I wish my picture to be seen because its part of me”
“I thought today was fabulous because it took me out of the fear about what I was going to draw”
“To share and acknowledge my diary (written at the time of my admission) was a first for me. I had come to that stage where I could read it. Actually no one else has heard the words from the diary”
“Somewhat daunting to start on the canvas, I was really glad I worked our some sort of idea of what I wanted to do”
“It was good to share my poem “Where do I start? Get going girl!” To share this acknowledges my loneliness at the time”
A group looking at what our bodies went through and the emotional side of recovering from illness.