Create, Liberate, Integrate! is an art exhibition currently being held at Space B, Spazju Kreattiv, Valletta.
This is the culmination of a project focused on art as a means of self-expression for marginalised women and their children. I have had the honour to be part of this project earlier this year where I facilitated Art therapy group sessions with mothers and their children who had experienced or witnessed domestic abuse.
These sessions provided an opportunity to reflect on the mother-child relationship which may have been stained by years of abuse. Main themes that arose where the perpetrator’s continuous manipulation and undermining of the relationship and how to cope with this.
Attachment relationships in childhood also affect the way children continue to think
about themselves and their self-esteem. This can affect the ways in which they
manage their emotions and how to self-reflect even later on in adulthood. Therefore,
for the children, the group sessions were an opportunity to engage in safe and
meaningful play and art-making both with other children and with their mothers. The
groups gave an opportunity to the children to build a more secure attachment with the
Group therapy provides an opportunity for participants to observe others in the group
and give and receive valuable feedback. Both adults and children learn through this
form of social interaction. It can provide a safe space where the participant can reflect
and process their experiences of violence and understand the feelings that it brings
with it; shame, loss, guilt. They can support each other by witnessing and appreciating
each other’s art works. It can give them a sense of belonging and hence improve their
self worth. This in turn can equip them with the strength needed to go out there in the
world and face the hurdles that life will pose. The mother-child group sessions can
elicit more positive communication and a better attachment style between the mother
and the child. This will in turn give more security to the child which can also manifest
itself as an improvement in behaviour both when with the mother and also when with
This project is supported by the President’s Award for Creativity, Arts Council Malta and Spazju Kreattiv.
Dates: Wednesday 20 December 2017 – Sunday 7 January 2018 Venue: Space B