~ The Art Of Change ~ with Carol Omer ~

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

Archive for the ‘Social Artistry’ Category

Create New Dreams. Seeding the Future Vision

Posted by carolom on March 20, 2017

Families Creating. Growing  and Flourishing Together.

We had a wonderful weekend camp, thanks to the women  who came from two Communities to join us in the Riverland.

Along with the Mandala art and making clay beads, we work-shopped the Vision for the Womens groups and 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 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 over the coming years.

yvonne

The gorgeous 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.

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

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All  pots are sealed with varnish and the forward lean, with head titled upward is a spraying skill.

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 »

‘Always Remembered’. Honouring the Women and Children and Pets who have died…

Posted by carolom on February 18, 2017

I was invited to facilitate The ART Of Change  program Always Remembered

A group of women who had each experienced trauma and violence wanted to create art work that honors the lives of the women and children and pets who have lost their life in domestic violence and to inspire other women to claim their power to leave an abusive relationship.

We created black and white mandalas  for coloring in as a meditation and relaxation colouring book  for women living in shelters and emergency accommodation and we also used the designs to create book marks and badges.

The women who participated in this amazing project experienced a significant culmination of their own journey of recovery from domestic violence and will now be taking the message of Always Remembered  and the power of art for healing and empowerment, back to some of the shelters where their journey first began.

My life long friend was killed by her husband in 2001, he then killed himself and my friends sstory and the memorial art I created in the week after her death inspired me to share in the message of the importance of our right to be safe, loved and respected at all times..



Posted in Art, Community, Creativity, Domestic Violence, Imagination, Journeys, Justice, Lifes Stories, Oneness, Relationships, Sisterhood, Social Artistry, The Art of Change, Warrior Women, Wealth, Wisdom | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

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 »

Moving beyond Building Bridges

Posted by carolom on October 18, 2016

The Mandorla

Unity in commUnity CarolOmer

During  almost three decades of working in human services, I have seen the term  building bridges gain  popularity.

Its a powerful metaphor. Bridges exist in all countries and transcend cultural barriers. The image of a bridge requires no  explanation.  The image speaks the intent.

We are crossing over, transcending the distance between us.

l am leaving my side of the bank and arriving at yours and We are no longer limited by the circumstances  that separate us.

It isn’t  surprising that both the visual image and the language of bridge building has  become an effective analogy, a visual metaphor  for getting along with our neighbor, resolving issues and conflict and  walking into new territory together, our differences transcended,  bridged by understanding and change.

A few years ago I came across a symbol that captivated my attention and spoke to my ‘inner bridge-builder’ with a clear message that bridge building, no matter how well intended, has its origins in the dual paradigms  of separation and difference.

The symbol that stetched my perception is called a Mandorla.

The word is Italian for Almond and that is the shape that is created when two circles over lap.


When we are developing a process that involves building a bridge, we begin from a point of separation and strategise  how to transcend the distance between myself and the other, us and them by seeking to unite two distinctly separated sides.

With the Mandorla we can see that  two whole and complete circles retain their unique identity and between them create a new, unified  space where those two circles meet.

The place  where we are already connected.

This is the place where  we all share commonalities and experience our pre-existing connection.

We breathe the same air, we have the same needs for food, shelter and warmth. As human beings we share a mutal need for safety, love, belonging, purpose and a need for meaningful stories and sense of place in the world.

These are core human needs that form the foundation of families and communities across the planet, regardless of the different cultural, economic or political circumstances of where we live in the  place we call home.

If I am facilitating a workshop for  young offenders in juvenile detention or visiting a rural Aboriginal Community for a womens camp, the Mandorla affirms our connection.

I am not entering  their community or communal space  wondering how I can build a bridge between us, instead I show them my Mandorla poster (see below) and ask if we can spend a bit of time looking at where we are connected.

Once we get past the obvious we are all humans, a whole range of possible  shared experiences and commonalities come forth. You are left handed like I am   / My football team is  /  I share your same views on racism / how can we make a difference together?

As we explore our commonalities we also look at the space outside of the Mandorla, that large expanse of the two separate components of the intersected circles.

This is the place where we learn from one another, a place where our differences are recognised within the experience and recognition  of our connection and not as somewhere we need to get to by crossing the bridge of our differences.

I created a poster for the ART of Change program  to  show my interpretation of the Mandorla.

I always show the poster with the wildly enthusiastic expectation  that when  people learn about the possibilities of Mandorla for the first time they too will have an ah-ha! moment and realise that the time we spend thinking about, talking about & building bridges  is time taken away from sitting  in the Mandorla of our connection & sharing in the joy of learning & growing together through one another’s Stories.

I came up with another way of expressing the Mandorla and it goes like this:

Mandorla.jpg

Posted in Building Bridges, Change, Community, Creativity, Human Rights, Jean Houston, Journeys, Mandorla, Peace, Social Artistry, Stories, Transformation, Unity, Wisdom | Tagged: | 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 »

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 »

EarthSong Aboriginal Healing Pathways Foundation Community Launch

Posted by carolom on September 11, 2009

We have been incorporated for a year now so it was very good timing for us to have our first Communty launch.
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Members of our Womens group presented the 7 Sisters Inma and the children from Kaurna Plains school danced. Naomi Hicks sang along with her children and nieces and sister and we were honoured to host several overseas guests including Grandmother Agnes Pilgrim of the 13 Grandmothers Council.

Grandmother Agnes is from the Takelma nation and has been traveling to different communities over the last few weeks.

Here are some of the photos from the day and if you are interested in learning more about what we are doing at EarthSong, please click on our facebook group here and join us:

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Earthsong 2a 3-9-09 085

Earthsong 18 3-9-09 149

Earthsong 17 3-9-09 147

Agnes - Earthsong 3-9-09 148

Earthsong 23 3-9-09 154

dancers 11 Earthsong 3-9-09 121

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Posted in Aboriginal, Community, EarthSong Aboriginal Healing Pathways Foundation, Family, Friendships, Grandmothers, Oneness, Relationships, Social Artistry | 1 Comment »

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?!

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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 »

Robert Masters, husband of Jean Houston, has passed away.

Posted by carolom on July 30, 2008

Sal and I have benefited greatly from Jean Houston’s work and are committed to the principles of Social Artistry. We first met at Jeans Mystery School event in 2001 and enjoyed many ‘Bob’ stories that were always peppered with humour and wit, that also revelaed Bobs many talents and his great mind.

We didn’t get to meet Bob but our thoughts are with him and Jean as they venture through the next stage of life’s ever unfolding Mysteries.

Bob passed away on July 27th 2008 leaving many great literary works and Foundation for Mind research studies in his wake.

Here is a copy of Bobs obituary published in the Oregon Mailtribune.

Obituary from the Mailtribune, Oregon

Robert Masters was the beloved husband of Jean Houston, Ph.D., with whom he co-founded and directed The Foundation for Mind Research.
The couple’s shared passion for charting, understanding, developing and teaching of Human and Extended Human Capacities fueled their lifelong adventure toward improving the quality of life for peoples of all ages, cultures and geographic locations.
Together, they were among the principal founders of the human potential movement.

Masters served in the Navy in WWII, mainly in the Pacific arena. He then joined his father, Colonel Masters, in duties regarding ordinance in the occupation of France and Germany. There he continued his student activities studying informally with Jean Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir. In Germany, he attended the University of Marburg and was one of the first to translate Heidegger’s Sein und Zeit into English.
Completing his degree at the University of Missouri, he taught philosophy for several years before becoming a newspaper editor, writing editorials for the Houston Post and then the Shreveport Times. In Louisiana he became a good friend of Elvis Presley.
He came to New York in 1962, where he became the editor of the Library of Sex Research for Julian Press and published eight books in the field of sexology and natural history which became classics in their field. It was in New York that he met Jean Houston and they were married in 1965.

Masters authored or co-authored more than 30 books and 100 papers and articles describing his researches into the varieties of human behavior and potentials. John Lennon wrote a song about one of the books he wrote with Jean Houston, Mind Games.

His works have been translated into many languages and he has taught and done research in Europe, Africa and Asia as well as the Americas.

Masters is recognized as a leading pioneer in consciousness research and the human potentials field. He has also published poetry, fiction, essays, literary and art criticism, book reviews, anthology contributions, and forewords and introductions to books by authors in many different fields.

Robert Masters conducted on-site investigations of states of consciousness in many different cultures and countries. He pioneered applications of altered states in education and psychotherapy, as well as in neural, sensory, and kinesthetic reeducation aimed at overcoming many different problems but especially at making possible a larger and more productive access to human potentials.

Robert Masters was the founder and was President Emeritus of the Association for the Masters Psychophysical Method, a group of hundreds of teachers trained and certified by him for the work he created in the field of psychophysical reeducation.

Along with Association members, Dr. Masters endeavored to establish centers for this work in cities across the U.S., where the intended focus addressed “older people.”

Prior to his passing, he was involved in related research and other work to delay the onset of “symptoms of aging” and improve the quality of life of older people.

In addition to ongoing work in psychophysical reeducation, altered states of consciousness and other areas long worked with in the context of human potentials (research, educational and other applications), Masters initiated experimental approaches to esoteric psychologies and spiritual disciplines and was particularly knowledgeable about ancient Egyptian psychospiritual practices.

Robert Masters is survived by his wife, Jean Houston. He will be missed not only by those close to him, but by his peers and the many students who benefited from his mentoring and who called him Papa Bob.

Dr. Marti Glenn and her husband, Ken Bruer, are establishing as a tribute the Robert Masters Scholarship Fund for students in somatic psychology at their Santa Barbara Graduate Institute, and

Posted in Jean Houston, Mind Power, Mystical, Relationships, Shamanic, Social Artistry | 2 Comments »

“I AM at Home with Peace and Prosperity”

Posted by carolom on July 4, 2008

This was the theme for our empowerment art work this week…to become comfortable with Peace and Prosperity when there has been a history of chaos and poverty….

I am ever amazed at the completely individual and unique creations that emerge from the same black and white template……..

Posted in Beauty, Change, Community, Creativity, Domestic Violence, Fun, Imagination, Justice, Mandalas, Patterns, Peace, Prosperity, Social Artistry, The Art of Change, Transformation, Warrior Women, Wealth, Wisdom | 2 Comments »