In February 2016 I joined artist Maura Hurley for an art afternoon with the patients at Lumbini Park Mental Hospital in Kolkata. We had a wonderful afternoon together. I showed the long-term patients examples of Australian Aboriginal Artists work from the Western Desert, the dot paintings, and we discussed some of the symbols within these paintings as well as the colours.
We invited the participants to be inspired by these artworks and create their own, using the colours they like and putting them into their own designs. The long afternoon we had together gave them enough time to immerse themselves into the project and focus their attention on the dots. It was challenging for some whose concentration is easily disrupted, and a pure delight for those who yearn for meaningful and creative activities.
The work they created was delightful. The project stayed with me for the whole year … I often thought of those people, and their ability to take on such a new idea and do it so enthusiastically and beautifully.