Thursday, 6 August 2009

Dreams are the seeds of change...

'Dreams are the seeds of change. Nothing ever grows without a seed & nothing ever changes without a dream.' - Debby Boone

Thursday, 11 June 2009

'...the hope still lives and the dreams shall never die.'

'The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dreams shall never die.' - Edward Kennedy

While hearing these words its like gentle waves rippling through me, not crashing against rocks, just slowly making their own paths through the water & letting me know that there are no barriers to what you desire to do, with hope & dreams it will come true...

The people I am working with over here at CCT are following their dream, enjoying it & working hard for it & in doing so convey hope & passion in their most natural form. My first workshop here was held at Baan Piranan, a residential home for children with cerebral palsy, run with complete love and dedication by Khun Piranan, an occupational therapist who takes care of the four boys there just now. We decided to plan and run a workshop to introduce a few animals through pictures, sounds and sponge stamps. I was very excited to meet the boys and interact with them through art and play. We started with an ice-breaker and showed the boys pictures of the animals and linked these with each animals unique natural sound played to them through the speakers. The boys responded positively to this and the room was filled with a wonderful combination of children's laughter and animal noises.

We then set-up the art stations and began to paint and stamp with the boys. The echoes of laughter throughout the house from the gorgeously happy Nong Mai who I was working with added to the fun and creativity we were all sharing during the workshop. Through progressive interaction and understanding I was able to connect with Nong Mai and enjoyed tapping the table with him and ringing the bell on his sponge extender while he painted, he also enjoyed holding and tapping my arm while painting. The work produced by the boys was beautiful. The whole experience was amazing and reaffirmed my decision to follow my dreams and study Art Therapy on my return to Scotland. xx

Sunday, 7 June 2009

So I landed here today...

'Attractively sited on the banks of the Ping river & situated amid a lush valley fringed by forested hills, Chiang Mai lies in the heart of some of Thailand's most beautiful natural scenery. Doted throughout are villages & small historic towns, where the majority of people follow the unchanging lifestyles of traditional farming communities. Chiang Mai combines modern city comforts with a veritable treasure house of the arts & architecture unique to the region. Inside the city's original perimeter, still marked by a moat & fortified gates are numerous Buddhist Temples/Wats & other monuments attesting to a distinguished past.'

I think I brought the rain with me to this wonderful place as on walking out of the Chiang Mai airport I was greeted by showers of refreshing raindrops. For some this may have been a slight annoyance, however I was quite amused & also comforted as I left home with rain so it felt nice to arrive with rain. I guess it felt like it was a joining element in two very different places.

Onto the volunteer house to meet everyone I would be sharing my time here with & hopefully get to know more. The house is lovely & we have a garden of plants which is wonderful. Have met some other volunteers who also arrived today (Verena from Germany, Ciara & Naomi from Ireland) and there is another three volunteers (Spencer from America, Sofia from Australia & Hitomi from Japan) staying in the house who I look forward to hopefully meeting soon. So much to take in but my mind is enjoying its wondering thoughts. xx

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

'Health is the soul that animates all the enjoyments of life...

'Health is the soul that animates all the enjoyments of life, which fade and are tasteless without it.' - William Temple

When we are ill do we shut the world out, do we hide behind the blankets of darkness and fall down through the covers into self pity, resting a weary, oh so heavy, oh so bleary head onto a pillow of comfort that says there there go to sleep you poor thing...feeling the almost stillness of our slow, deep breath and think....well this sucks?!

Achieving the best possible health we can be at is something we all strive for and why not. Everything seems so refreshed, so pure. When we are healthy every breath feels, radiating through us. William Temples words echo through me and encourage me to keep as healthy as I can....

So why this contemplation about health...the realisation of serious consequences of a simple mistake last weekend has left me thinking about how we can so easily take our health for granted and how quickly it can be taken from us...appreciate and enjoy every part of your health even what you may consider the simplest things, for none of us know when things will suddenly become 'tasteless' and 'fade'. Time after time experiences though life keep me confident that despite having type 1 insulin dependant Diabetes my health doesn't have to suffer and neither do I anyone? xx

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Music expresses that which cannot be said...

'Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent' - Victor Hugo

Much like art, music is a powerful tool for expressing ourselves where words simply cannot. Think of your favourite song, the one that really moves you, your emotions spinning away and you forget where you are, you are lost, lost and captured in the simple beauty of the music you are listening to

'All music is beautiful'- Billy Strayhorn.

I am listening to Imogen Heap just now while working in my studio and the feeling of restlessness has vanished and made way for an inspired evening of creating by the evening light streaming through my window above. Of course I may have lost myself in the music but that only adds to my creative response...surely.

I guess this pondering on the effect music has on oneself has reemerged over the last few days while I have been thinking about the music festival I am away to this weekend in a friends garden..while there I will be having a bake sale to raise some money for going off to Thailand to volunteer with CCT. I'm sure there will be some hungry tums there and any excuse to bake is most's to the glorious baking evening in a few days while listening to whatever takes me away to my on.. xx

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Volunteering with Cultural Canvas Thailand

"If a voice can't be heard, teach it to be seen"- Emily Scott, Former Canvas Art Director

Cultural Canvas Thailand provides first-hand exposure to Chiang Mai's most pertinent issues and problems through hands-on volunteer placements and projects that delve deep into the local community. The Canvas Art Program is a new artistic outreach program that works with a wide-range of social groups and humanitarian organizations in Chiang Mai.

'Here at the CCT Art Program we believe that art is a tool for change. Our mission for the Canvas Art Program is to promote expression and cultivate the creativity that lies inside each individual. We use art to create an atmosphere of inclusion and belonging where often there is none. Art is used as a catalyst for releasing and challenging personal and societal stresses whilst encouraging cultural changes and awareness'

I have the privilege to be travelling over to Chiang Mai to volunteer with Cultural Canvas Thailand next month! I am very excited about it and look forward to sharing different skills and experiences with everyone while I am there and have the opportunity to provide hands-on help and some creative ideas. xx

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

'...dreams and visions and things not known..'

'Art is made from dreams and visions and things not known, and least of all from things that can be said. It comes from the inside of who you are when you face yourself, it is an inner declaration of purpose, it is a factor which determines artist identity.' - David Smith, Tradition and Identity.

I have just been offered a place on the MSc in Art Therapy at Queen Margaret University here in Scotland! What a wonderful & exciting opportunity.

So welcome...i hope you enjoy all the adventures to be revealed...dreams that will unfold, visions of wonderful creations & things not known yet. Take care on your own journey & enjoy what will unfold before you. xx