From the eyes of our diverse-ability artists, the world is full of color. All they needed was to look through the lens of the arts to see the magical color combinations that both the physical and virtual worlds manifest - even during a dark moment in history like the Covid-19 pandemic.
Their individual works were put together to showcase “co-creation”: a creative collaboration between artist-professionals and persons with disabilities resulting in high quality artwork. This is the third in a series of collaborative projects that they did from their online creative journaling sessions. This latest virtual exhibit was launched on July 17, 2021 in solidarity with the Philippines’ National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation Week.
Inspired by the art of Paul Klee
This set of three works show the intensity of bundled shapes and colors to depict an ultra-vibrant cityscape. The artists learned about the life and art of artist Paul Klee, who played with abstraction to convey the artistic elements and principles. Klee provides some of the foundations of the study of the formal qualities of art.
As a tribute to this great modern artist, this session had all our diverse artists imagine a city expanding vertically. Put together, they create a kaleidoscopic panorama of colors and shapes mirroring each other.
Our diverse artists played with designing traditional masks and headresses to show powerful imagery and intense emotion. They visualized the use of feathers, jewels, beads and gems to enrich the look of their designs. What came out was a "festival of sorts" - a very diverse presentation that reflects as well the diversity of their group.
Learning about Spanish church architecture, Art Deco and Triumphal Arches, our diverse artists reimagined cities that cut across time, location and race. These intersections they create somehow integrate these cultural practices into a unified whole. It takes city building to a whole new level, with traces of the past, the modern and contemporary coming together to create new identities. Indeed, for our artists, creative cities can be innovative, but without forgetting the art of the past - an appreciation that became an interesting part of their creative journaling sessions.
The Story of Creative Journaling
In 2020, a group of artists with diverse abilities and exceptionalities (such as autism, intellectual disability and other neurodevelopmental conditions) began to document their thoughts and feelings during the initial months of the Covid-19 Global pandemic through a series of online creative journaling exercises. The parents expressed their interest to enroll their children to online sessions as the lockdown restricted access to in-person schooling, socialization and other activities.
The topics covered a wide range from simple diagrams to elaborate mind maps to help them process their thoughts and feelings as they go through a significant moment in their lives. Creative journaling became an opportunity to be productive amidst the physical limitations set by the global crisis and a platform for socialization in the new normal.
Some participants worked by themselves, some with assistance and others – working together with their parents. Many of the creative outputs are collaborations of those participating at home.
The program became a good platform for socializing and collaborating, which eventually led to producing collaborative artworks wherein their individual outputs are put together using graphic design techniques. It shows that the physical limitations of the pandemic are not a reason to keep them apart, because through their art, they are able to stand side-by-side and show their talents coming together.