Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Of Mud and Creativity

Play is the work of children.  Without encouragement children will take almost any material and with their hands and imagination begin to create and have fun.  Such was the case at the Good Samaritan during a community Cob building experience.  While the adults seriously measured, prepared and dialogued about "where this and where that", the children and youth performed their job perfectly and without debate--play, create and enjoy the experience.

As the Cob was formed into balls, the young men imagined and organized a ball throwing exercise--chucking Cob into the wall form.

Individuals began to experiment with creating forms.  Yes, there was the usual boyhood phallic and feces symbols that made there way into holes in the cob--mixed with great laughter--but there was also some interesting experiments in form.

Marcial had some experience in sculpting.  He began creating a face from the Cob and before long everyone was collaboratively adding to the personality of the face.  Marcial exhibited a higher level of skill and indeed this was not his first sculpting project.

Developing innate artistic abilities is important in providing youth with a creative outlet, building self-esteem, developing critical thinking skills and providing options for the future--whether as an artist or an entrepreneur.   Research shows what we already know intuitively, children in poverty have fewer opportunities and options for their future. The artist in sustainable community has an excellent opportunity to identify these innate abilities that can be reinforced and nourished.

Related academic sources for further reading


Clay Therapy

The Clinical Application of Clay with Children by Paul R. White, Chapter 11.
Clay Therapy, the Clinical Application of Clay with Children
Therapeutic Qualities of Clay-work in Art Therapy and Psychotherapy: A Review Michal Sholt,and Tami Gavron,Haifa, Israel.  Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association, 23(2) pp. 66-72 © AATA, Inc. 2006

Note: See my review of Slava's Book Basic Art Therapy.

Poverty and Creativity

EEGs show brain differences between poor and rich kids
Children Who Live in Public Housing Suffer in School, Study Says

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