MOST art classes focus on teaching the skills needed to create an aesthetically pleasing piece.
But that is not a priority for the latest course at the Victoria Park Centre for the Arts.
Transpersonal art therapist Dianne Smith and counsellor Joyce de Haas will lead a six-week art therapy course for women next month.
The course focuses on helping women to face issues that might be sensitive to talk about and instead let subconscious thought flow on to a canvas.
“It’s for women who are going through the process of change, whether they’ve just lost their job or are going through a break-up, or even issues from their childhood,” Ms Smith said.
“The beauty of working with art is the medium can help people to express things they don’t normally talk about.
“Art therapy allows them to express their subconscious through artwork.”
No prior art experience is required to take part. In fact, Ms Smith said it could even be beneficial to have none.
“Sometimes it’s better if you haven’t done much art before because then you’re not inhibited, you’re not necessarily |focusing on trying to create something beautiful,” she said.
“A lot of this is about working with your subconscious and allowing the materials to talk to you. When people relax and work with the materials in a way they feel comfortable, you’d be surprised by the messages that naturally come out.”
Ms Smith graduated as an art therapist at the end of last year on her mission to explore how the creative arts could tap into people’s inner resources.
While studying the course, Ms Smith said she had experienced the benefits of art therapy first-hand.
“When you do the actual training, you spend hours working through exercises so you can understand it for the client,” Ms Smith said.
“It’s beautiful how it really opens things up. You resolve things without even having to think about them; it’s a bit like magic.”
The six-week course runs from June 5 until July 17, exploring mediums such as paint, pastels, clay, sandplay and more.
Sessions run for about two-and-a-half hours and the entire course costs $240, |including materials. Contact Ms Smith on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0413 034 348.