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Creating magic with DV-ART

Up to ten domestic violence survivors will work with an art psychotherapist during May - Domestic

and Family Violence Prevention Month - to create art pieces to showcase their strength and survival after abuse.

Kate Smith is the Co-founder of the charity, Broken to Brilliant, which is running the program.

She said the DV-ART program was a wonderful opportunity for brave survivors to express their journey after domestic abuse.

“We’ve called it DV-ART to stand for Domestic Violence Amazing Resilient Thriver. The process of creating the art piece will be taking the time to celebrate the survivors’ strength, resilience and how far they’ve come,” said Kate.

She explained the art therapy culminating in the digital art show has a twofold purpose.

“The workshops give survivors a voice to express their journey using various art methods and the digital art show raises awareness of the impact of domestic violence,” she said.

Sunshine Coast-based Art Psychotherapist and owner of Weird Fishh Expressive Health Services, Kerry Tuck, will facilitate the program.

She said she can sit with another person and feel, see and hear that person.

Kerry said her own lived experience has led to deep understandings and personal growth from the impacts of traumas connected to domestic abuse.

She added people thinking of taking part in the program don’t need to worry about having art skills, as she will safely guide them.

Participants will have the chance to understand themselves and unpack who they are and where they’re going, she said.

Kerry explained that storytelling through art is a way to process trauma, which can cause survivors long-term mental and physical health problems.

“Story telling can be done in a variety of ways - through singing, painting, drawing, sculpture, music,

drumming or dancing,” said Kerry.

“Creative therapy removes the need for our minds to know what we need to say.

“Metaphorical expression through art can lead to a better understanding of feelings and behaviours that may resolve deeper issues,” she said.

A metaphor is defined as a figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action to which it is not literally applicable. In artistic metaphorical expression, the words are replaced with art.

Kerry is looking forward to working with her fellow survivors.

“For me, it’s an equal exchange. I’m not coming in as someone who knows more because I’m learning too and I’m respecting their story.

“I enjoy having that equal footing and walking alongside them. When you see that transformation, it really is magical and it’s all worth it,” Kerry said.

The program comprises two full day sessions on Sunday 23rd and 30th May at Northgate Community Hall and costs $59 which includes all materials, activities, professional art therapy and food.

The program will culminate in a digital DV-ART show sharing the strength and resilience of survivors.

If you are a survivor of domestic abuse and would like to join the DV-ART program, get in quickly as registrations close soon.

The participants and their artworks will remain anonymous for safety, privacy and legal reasons.

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