~ The Art Of Change ~ with Carol Omer ~

Art and Creativity as Mediums for Empowerment , Connection and Change…

Archive for the ‘Imagination’ Category

The Warrior Woman template as a life coaching & community development tool

Posted by carolom on January 7, 2017

As a life coach and  empowerment artist working in the areas of domestic violence and cultural diversity I recognise that creativity, art, story, song, dance and music are the tools and activities that affirm women’s strengths and interconnectedness regardless of our cultural background.

Engaging with art in a communal setting creates a place where we can celebrate our connections and share the richness of the stories and experiences that define our cultural and individual uniqueness.

I am very appreciative to the women who attended a  Women’s ART of Change  Empowerment & Life Coaching Camp and allowed us to photograph some of the sessions. By doing so we can share the powerful message that sharing and creating together is the answer to crossing the cultural and language barriers that can prevent women from coming together.

When women from CALD (culturally and linguistically diverse) settings engage with this form of  life coaching tools they are able to express their unique culture as expressed through the templates that are the equivalent of the hand outs and power point presentations in most  training environments.

Art and creative expression is a unifying medium across all cultures and a powerful medium for sharing our stories and expressing our vision for the future.

We had a Warrior Woman’s Empowerment Workshop on camp. From black and white templates, the Warrior Woman is created…

The Warrior Woman…
Her head~dress represents developing the power of the mind to overcome obstacles and adversity. Cultivating thought patterns and mental focus for creating the life we envisage for our selves and our children.

Her large heart symbolises the importance of remaining compassionate and connected to others whilst not being overwhelmed by the d.v cycle of promises and repetitive abuse. This is especially significant when recovering from domestic violence as safe personal boundaries are core to keeping the family safe.

Her wings remind us that our mental well being and health requires  balance in our emotions, mind, physical and social health.

Introducing the Warrior Women theme for the day:

Phoenix Woman was created as a way to express changes that came about through trials and difficulties.

Stories of the past and stories of the children’s future are shared as we create the warrior woman.

Two communities came together on the 2nd day of the camp.

Patty created her Warrior Woman’s Headress using spirals of wool…

Sisters…We are all the same within regardless of the skin we are in..

Posted in Aboriginal, Art, Australia, CALD Women, Change, Community, Creativity, Imagination, Life Coaching, Lifes Stories, Love, Peace, Social Artistry, The Art of Change, Transformation, Warrior Women, Wisdom | Leave a Comment »

Mandalas as tools for Staff Training and Development.

Posted by carolom on June 21, 2016

*Updated:

The Mandala ( the Circular form) which I have shared in other sections of my blog,  is a great tool for inspiring right brain thinking and reflection during our  creativity based staff training sessions.

As people engage with the rhythmic movement of adding colour and meaning to the individual black and white templates, the process is akin to a mind-massage that facilitates  access to parts of the brain we may have lost touch with in education settings and workplaces that don’t engage the hands equally as the eyes and ears for training purposes.

This is especially so in the western system whereas other cultures, i.e. Aboriginal culture, engage hands and creativity as part of the process of telling stories, generating ideas  and transmitting knowledge. This multi-sensory engagement is core to every day life.

In some cultures creative expression and development is not reduced  after early childhood as happens in some aspects of the western school system where the arts are often not considered as important as the sciences and therefore colour movement, dance, story telling, art and the application of the imagination are diminished over time. Creativity does not conform to a pre-existing template and systems that are outcome oriented are often not able accommodate creative expression and exploration.

 The system we are brought up in has enormous influence on how we think and create.

Sadly many people are living their life with the belief (belief )  I am not Creative, in spite of shared experience we all had as creative, imaginative, ‘magical’ children who were not bound by pre-existing templates during times of play and invention.
You can read a little story about what happens to the ‘magical child in exile’ by clicking here..

Feedback after the creativity based training  includes statements like this:

  • I was amazed at how much more information I absorbed even though I was not always looking up
  • thank you for giving us permission to go in to our own creative space and contribute without having to sit still all day in the one position, i am always the biro flicker in workshops because my hands get bored sitting still all day
  • Wow! That was fabulous! I am going to share these tools with my daughter and grandchildren

The following are samples of some of the work that was created during a series of Cultural Inclusivity Action Plan workshops.

The four themes that were central to the day were

  • Team
  • Community
  • Our Place
  • Workplace Balance

You can see the theme is written on the Mandala and the individual creative input is an unique and diverse as the participants and the Community they serve.

We honour the traditional owners of this great land when we implement processes that Aborginalise the western mindset by engaging with traditional cultural practices of art, creativity, story sharing, talking circles and FUN! (Thankyou Dana Shen for introducing me to  the term Aboriginalising ways of learning and information sharing).

This kind of training setting is a along way vastly different from sitting in a row of chairs or around tables and watching but not actively engaging with information. Slide shows, pie graphs and classroom style information sharing  lacks the creative engagement that occurs when hands are given access to creative processes and the information is presented in a way that evokes the imagination and new ideas.

Creativity based learning is a very different setting than the more common workshop environment where people sit still, watch and listen rather than create and interact with the material.

Our Place

Team

Balance in the Workplace

Each Mandala has a developmental theme and is used as both a creative and discussion tool as

  • an individual process,
  • in the small group talking /action plan group and
  • as a larger group we have poster size replicas which, by the end of the day become the centre of an action-plan installation art.

You can see how wonderful it is to create the ART of Vision / Action over the tired old butchers paper sheets that tend to be rolled away and disappeared forever once the workshop is over….

Posted in Aboriginal, ART of Change, Community, Creativity, Imagination, Patterns, Power of Focus, Reconciliation, Social Artistry, Staff Training, Stories, The Art of Change, Transformation, Uncategorized, Wisdom | Leave a Comment »

Lorraine Karpany – Strong Mimini and Artist Extraordinaire…

Posted by carolom on December 10, 2010

* I would like to think the artist Lorraine Karpany for giving me permission to share the images and their Story  in my blog. *

Recently I was asked if I would pick up a ‘few ceramic pieces’ from  the local Aboriginal  College and take them to a rural Community  where I was presenting at a Womens Group. The creator of the pieces had been unable to get them to her home and I was very happy to oblige as one of the most enjoyable aspects of my work is meeting other artists and their work.

I thought ‘a few  ceramic pieces‘ meant that I was going to be picking up a few plates and painted china bowls but instead I transported several, profound pieces of clay sculptures that quite literally took my breath away!

Lorraine told me that she began by making a basic clay pot like most people do but very quickly the clay began to take shape and give form to her deeply personal healing journey  that has involved enormous loss and grief and mistreatment by the Australian government who inflicted the theft of Aboriginal children on a whole generation of Australians. My heart was deeply moved by Lorraine’s Story and her resilience is awe inspiring.

The children who were stolen and the parents who were the victims of the child thefts  are known as The Stolen Generation. The unspeakable, multiple  losses and relentless pain that members of The Stolen Generation live with is captured in these pieces.

They are also works of great courage, resilience and outstanding talent.

Lorraine tole me she had never created with clay before but  in six short months developed an outstanding body of work that reveals her enormous talent and originality. She  sells her work so if you are interested in knowing more  what her outstanding Sculptures please  leave a comment below.

I am not qualified to put captions to any of the photos and apologise for the slight blur in some of the images.


Posted in Aboriginal Art, Clay sculpture, Healing, Imagination, Lorraine Karpany, Stolen Generation, Transformation, Wisdom, Women | 4 Comments »

~ World Peace Day – September 21st ~

Posted by carolom on September 21, 2010

World Peace Begins at Home!

Peace, harmony, balance, generating feelings of relaxation and well being.

Being centered and relaxed  with the Mind at rest. These are the Gifts of Mandala, a Sanskrit word meaning Circle.

I created the following Mandala poster for Women living in the domestic violence shelters where I was working, after a newly arrived resident pointed out that the shelter walls were covered in anti-violence posters but all she saw was the word violence all around her and negative imagery and  it didn’t feel like a safe place to be on account of that. Shelters often have posters that are considered ‘educational’ but her observations brought into question their true value and worth.

It was a very important message she gave to the staff and I thank her for her invaluable feedback. We invited feedback from other residents and they too  made comments such as “that one that says ‘domestic violence hurts kids’ made my little boy  frightened especially   that one of the woman cowering with her kids in the background”.

We listened to what we were being told through the eyes of women  who had come to live at the shelter at a point of chaos and danger in their life and systematically removed all of the words and images that were not aligned with Peace and positivity.

We refocused on Peace to create Peace no longer using the word violence  in order to reach its opposite and the other posters and pamphlets that dealt with issues of violence and poverty were in the filing cabinet and only brought our if necessary during group conversations.

The World Peace Begins at Home poster continues to be one of the most popular of what became my  ART of Change tools and now lives in many houses on fridges and bathroom doors, each one coloured differently from the next.

It is not only Women living in domestic violence who are leading busy, chaotic lives though It is important for all of us to take some time to breathe, relax, play and create! That’s why Mandalas for colouring in are received so well by women who are living in shelters and women who are looking for some balance in their busy busy lives.

If you would like a copy of the black and white World Peace Begins at Home template, leave me a message with your email address and I will happily and freely share it with you.

*Please see note below for the Dedication of this poster.

This Mandala is freely shared in dedication  to the special memory of my friend Janet who lost her life in domestic violence in 2001.

We used to sing “Give Peace a Chance” when we were young and loving life back in the 70’s and neither of us could have known where Janets path would take her.

Travel in Peace my beloved friend….

Posted in ART of Change, Australia, Change, Community, Creativity, Healing, Imagination, Oneness, Peace, Personal Development, Relationships, Transformation, World Peace Day | 4 Comments »

Reflecting on Oprah’s visit to Australia and When Women Dream and Create Together…

Posted by carolom on September 17, 2010

Over the years I played  a selection of Oprahs programs in-house as they were a rich, rare source of discussion and reflection and glimpses into new possibilities and self reflection during the years I ran a personal development group at a shelter for homeless young mothers.  Oprah’s personal story is one of over coming enormous obstacles and  the impact of abuse, liberation from racism and the power of aligning with the Divinity of life,  putting practical action to make the Dream come true. Many homeless Women I met over the years recognised their own potential through the Stories that Oprah brought onto the world stage…

For young Aboriginal Women at the shelter who grew up seeing only white faces on Australian television (sadly not much has changed), Oprah’s presence on national television was hugely significant.

Oprah Winfrey is surrounded by a co-creative team and it has taken many years of creativity and co-operation for her to have reached the stand alone level of influence and impact she has achieved.  I saw how impactful and life changing her motivational shows were for homeless Women throughout the 90’s – especially the Remembering Your Spirit series .  I admire her achievements enormously,  though I am not so much interested in her  programs around celebrity and make overs as I am about what people can do to create change and activate their fullest potential.

Women’s Well~Being has been the focus of my work from many years & most of the  ProsperArty Mandalas and the personal development art that I create for workshops express the Goddess aspect of being a Woman. We would sit and colour the Mandalas whilst watching the Oprah Show ~ a very relaxed way to sit and absorb information.

For me, one of the most powerful off all internal keys to creating change is Creativity…returning to the free flowing, creative state we came into this world with & have  often lost along the way….

In the Spirit of recognising a Woman of great influence, who manifests the very best of the Goddesses, Athena the Warrior who invokes change, Hestia who presides over home and heart’h, Persephone who transcended the subjugation of the underworld and Artemis who cares for young girls and sacred animals, I acknowledge Oprah Winfrey’s role that she has played in showing women that you can create and grow and bring about change in this world, irrespective of which of the skins you are in, where you have come from or what others will say can or can’t be done….

The Mandala below – which I have called “When Women Dream and Create Together” is created in the form of a Mandorla, the name of the shape created where two circles meet.  See my “About me ” page for further explanation of the Mandorla.

I was inspired to create “When Women Dream and Create Together” when it was announced that Oprah Winfrey would be coming to Australia, in a jumbo jet with John Travolta in the pilot seat and dozens of over joyed audience members! How fitting that Oprah completes her 25 years of public television with a trip to the Dreamtime Country.

Australia is Aboriginal country with a history of profound culture and wisdom that goes back thousands of years prior to European’s arriving here just a very short time ago. It is a living culture with so much to teach the world about how to live in harmony with Nature and within our Self. It is still the very early days of recovery from the devastating impact of white-settlement and I sincerely hope this important  Australian story to the world during her visit.

I chose the words at the centre of the Mandorla to reflect three things that are core to creating together : Love, Passion & Service.

Service is rent paid for room on Earth”….

In my workshops we add colour to the black and white template to create our own ProsperArty posters for relaxation and reflection.  For those who have not experienced working with the Mandala (circular) art form, I encourage you to give it a try!  Place your Vision, / thoughts / feelings into the Circle and see what Magic will unfold….

***

When Women Dream and Create Together

***

***

Together the Women are united in their Vision.

They hold up the Pyramid, symbolising the  Feminine Trinity:

~ Mother, Daughter, Divine  Spirit  ~

The Women  rise from the Heart together.

Love is the powerful, unifying force that generates their Creations.

***

Posted in ART of Change, Australia, Beauty, Change, Creativity, Dreaming, Energy, Fun, Gratitude, Imagination, Journeys, Joy, Lifes Stories, Love, Magic, Mandalas, Oneness, Oprah Australia, Oprah Winfrey, ProsperArty, Relationships, SiStars, Spirituality, Stories, The Art of Change, Transformation, Unity, Warrior Women, Wisdom, Women | 3 Comments »

Unity in Community…

Posted by carolom on August 17, 2010

I created this poster a few years ago when we were asked in a training session to ‘write down your Vision”.

In many cultures art, symbols & images are the language that transmits the Story.

In other cultures letters, alphabets, words and sentences are written in dozens of shapes that make up the code of that particular language. If you don’t know that code , you don’t get the story…

I prefer the language of images for my ‘Vision statement’.

Celebrating our Unity and honouring our Diversity….

We are all the same within regardless of which of the skins we are in. We are breathing the same air, exhaling and inhaling one another’s breath, sharing the same waters, warmed by the same sun….and many of us, more as time moves on …are Dreaming the same Dreams for a more united world

Posted in Community, Creativity, Imagination, Journeys, Reconciliation, Social Artistry | Leave a Comment »

The Beam of a Lighthouse…

Posted by carolom on June 22, 2010

In our ART of Change group we colour posters that give visual form, shape and colour to the topic we are discussing. This week  it was Moving on From the Past and Living Freely in the Present.

“The Beam of A Lighthouse is not Affected by the Howling Wind and Rain” is a quote I came across many years ago.

I made this poster after a member of an earlier group told us:

I was doing really well giving up smoking, didn’t have a single puff for a week..but then family turned up on my door and I was back chain smoking again.They always do this t me”….

It is easy to blame others for our inner stress and turmoil especially when we are immersed in a family web of destructive behaviour and toxic patterns but  blaming  him/ her/ them /the organistation etc etc whilst pointing the finger outwardly &  focusing on where they are at fault and flawed –  and how they are responsible for ‘making me feel bad /uptight etc  – takes up time and energy that could be spent cultivating our Inner Lighthouse and learning how to step out of the predictable Pattern and into a new, positive inner world…of our own making…

Posted in ART of Change, Creativity, Imagination, Personal Development, Wisdom, Women | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

It’s official….’ProsperArty’ has been named, signed and sealed!

Posted by carolom on December 3, 2008

Last year I began the process to trademark the name “ProsperArty”…a name I created to define my ART of Change tools and programs.

ProsperArty = Experiencing Prosperity by using the mediums of Art / Creativity.

Prosperity as I define it, is  to develop, grow  and flourish in what ever areas we value and consider to be  important…ProsperArty is a personal journey on a Universal theme that recognises the balance and harmony of nature and the creative state.

I had an afternoon tea with some of the Women I have worked with in the past, currently work with or have projects emerging throughout 2009…

It was a wonderful afternoon with some great food… unfortunately in  the images below  my ProsperArty guests are absent, as we were too busy nattering and chattering in our talking circle and eating and laughing to remember to take photos.

However I did capture the food!…and the flowers…and a few other things from the day…beginning with the Zebra that pulled up out the front just as we were getting under way…a noisy Zebra that came to trim trees and chomp branches! Before long we were noisier than the tree munching Zebra of course!

zebra1

 

Sal made chocolate mousse that I decorated with mint and twelve white chocolate buttons…representing the Clock..because “It’s Time” for ProsperArty……

mmmmmousse

 

Sa’s gorgeous daughter Gemma made lime and lemon tart…I made peanut crunchie biscuits and apricot with white chocolate and almond balls…What a high calorie, yummy launch!

prosperarty-lunch1

 

I chose the Celtic triple spiral theme (Triskele)  for the ProsperArty gift …we had a lot of fun threading them onto elastic to create a pendant. The 7 purple dots represent the 7 Sisters…that cluster of stars that has birthed  mythology and Dreaming stories right across the planet.. There were 7 Women present at the time, more guests  arrived later …

My recent trip to Matariki bay- bay of the 7 Sisters in Aotearoa (New Zealand) is a significant part of the essence of  ProsperArty…

spiral2

 

I liked how the river stone-shaped  pendants looked in their circle before sharing them around. (Made with air drying das clay, painted with acrylics and sealed with high gloss varnish. I drew the design with permanet marker)

silver-and-gold-tray

 

My Trademark Certification…ProsperArty…

prosperarty-trademark

 

Pilawuk made a gift of the most breath taking silk wall hanging based on some of my ProsperArty designs…if you look closely you can see the Warrior Woman image in the centre..and on the sides forming “Yesterday, today and tomorrow”…a theme from my invitation…      

Magic!!…thank you Pilawuk…Silk Queen Goddess!

prosperarty-silk1 

Here is a side view…aren’t the colours just deliciously  ProsperArteous?!

prosperarty-silk2

 

Thankyou to my former colleagues Cathy, Desi and the Malvern Place team for the flowers and words of great encouragement and good will…

prosperarty-flowers

A lovely afternoon with a group of Women who live and breathe the essence of ProsperArty’s highest hopes and dreams…..

Let the Magic begin!

*****************************************************************

“ProsperArty” was dreamt and created on traditional Aboriginal Land and I acknowledge the Kaurna people as the custodians of this part of the country and recognise the authority  of the  Dreamtime as holding the key to many of the challenges we are facing in Australia today.

Posted in Adelaide, Art, Beauty, Community, Creativity, Friendships, Gratitude, Imagination, ProsperArty, Sisterhood, Social Artistry, The Art of Change, Uncategorized, Warrior Women, Women | Leave a Comment »

Create New Dreams…Seeding the Future Vision

Posted by carolom on November 24, 2008

The Families that Play and Create together, Grow and Flourish Together…

 

We had a wonderful weekend camp…thanks to the Miminis who came from two Communities up north to join us in the Riverland.

Along with the Mandala art and making clay beads, we work-shopped the Vision for the Womens groups…then painted terra cotta pots and planted the Sunflower seeds that will grow along with the new changes..

Thankyou to the Women for allowing us to photograph the art work and capture the many wonderful moments where Nanas and great grandchildren, Elders and younger Women sat and enjoyed the  creative processes  together….

What better way to spend a weekend in the Riverland sun in Ngarrindjeri country?

Deanna Nungala and I feel very privileged to have been invited to host the Celeberating our Community ART of Change camp and look forward to our Miminis Nopin ventures when we can return the gifting by visiting the Women and seeing how the Sunflowers have grown….

Miminis Nopin – Women on the Move… Women overcoming the pain of the past and seeding the Vision for the Future…

Art based activities that everyone- young and old -can enjoy together….

Deanna and I wearing the clay necklaces we made during the Apology week, to honor the Mothers whose children were stolen from them.  Nungala is a Stolen Generation survivor and a Warrior Woman of the heart in the truest sense….

deana-and-carol

Our Vision Workshopping Board….

create-new-dreams

Painting the clay beads they have rolled earlier in the day is wonderful for concentration for the little kids and fun~creativity for all ages…

tia

Little sister can create and paint her own beads too!

didi

This pot-painter will seed some fantastic changes for her  Community I am sure…

yvonne

The gorgeous goddess with the smile that lights up rooms and hearts…

lesley

Our Chef extraordinaire took time out from her delicious food-making to paint a pot of her own…

lou

Lady birds for good luck turned up on the top of this artists work….

tania

…as you can see….

seeding

Mother and Daughter creating together……they have a vegie garden at home and the new Sunflowers might fill that garden one day! One single  seed births the seeds of many new flowers over one single season…

seeding-2

…seeding the Vision is a journey of process, attention, watering and ….patience….

seeding4

…all pots are sealed with varnish and the upper torso lean, with head titled upward is a spraying skill learnt after accidentally inhaling a nostril full of varnish dust on the first ever pot.  Interesting shadow cast on the ground there….

spraying

Posted in Art, Australia, Beauty, Change, Community, Creativity, Dreaming, Elders, Fun, Grandmothers, Imagination, Joy, Magic, Ngarrindjeri, Prosperity, Sisterhood, Social Artistry, Warrior Women, Women | 3 Comments »

Ingalalla Falls south of Adelaide- A beautiful place on a wet and windy day…

Posted by carolom on July 21, 2008

My buddy Deanna and I were both a bit tired, a bit low on joi-de-vivre… we know that this kind of too-much-of-the-city tiredness needs very specific treatment!

It requires packing the picnic basket, spending hours amongst Nature with a cup of tea in china mugs, accompanied by a piece of apple-crumble cheesecake from the Yankalilla bakery…. taking time out of the city away from the mobile phones waves and relentless traffic….noise traffic, mobile phone traffic, people traffic and the news, news, news…

Nothing else will remedy what only Nature offers the weary 21st Century gals!….(;-)

Here is where we went…and if you look really closely you can see the Spirits of Nature all around…

Ingalalla Falls…nestled in between hilly country that is green and clean and lush….

Posted in Beauty, Community, Dreaming, Friendships, Gratitude, Healing, Imagination, Laughter, Mystical, Nature, Ngarrindjeri, Sisterhood, Women | 4 Comments »