Creating art allows us to build our own narratives – to tell our own story. Research shows that visual art such as painting or drawing or sketching can be used as a form of rehabilitation for people on all walks of life – including for those with brain injuries. Brain injury survivors often experience a loss of identity, and art can help give life to a part of themselves they thought was lost forever. In addition to this, using art as a therapy can help improve cognitive and psychological difficulties after an ABI – research has shown that art therapy can improve speech and memory loss, behavioural difficulties and co-ordination and balance for those with brain injuries.
Here at fAABI, we believe visual art allows people to feel present and engaged with their world and the worlds of those around them. Art can create purpose, and can increase involvement and engagement across groups, cultures and abilities- which is why we’ve created a safe space for our clients to do just that.
fAABI was delighted to host the first session in our series of Arts & Crafts classes on Wednesday 15th May 2019. The class was facilitated by Diego Bonilla, a London-based artist from a mixed background. He’s had a knack for the arts since childhood, having been inspired by the creativity and skills of his mother and sister. He grew up participating in a number of exhibitions, showcasing his work to various critics. Over the years, he’s come to the conclusion that his favourite form of art is producing abstract acrylics on canvas. When asked to describe how he feels about art, Diego says ‘’it’s a passion driven by the emotions from start to end while creating each piece, and I like thinking that there are multiple interpretations that can be given to my paintings.’’
It’s easy to see why our beneficiaries were keen to jump right into the session. An atmosphere of excitement filled the room as Diego introduced our beneficiaries to a technique none familiar with, called ‘dirty pour’ with acrylic paint. Curious of the results? Watch the video below!
Amazingly, we managed to get through the evening without making too much of a mess, and attendees expressed their excitement for the next session. A beneficiary who was asked how they found the session described it as ‘’stimulating! As someone with a brain injury, it’s not often that I get a chance to explore something new and challenging, so I’m grateful to fAABI for giving me the opportunity to do so with these Arts and Crafts classes.’’
If you have sustained or are a carer of someone with a brain injury and would like to discover your inner Jackson Pollock, this is something for you! You can view the schedule and sign up for the sessions here: https://bit.ly/2JINpR1
fAABI Arts and Crafts Sessions would not be possible if not for the Leathersellers Charitable Trust who have kindly funded the project.