Before you take the time to read on, please give these artist the respect they deserve, look at their expressions, open your mind and try to let their art touch your heart.
“The girls in the sun”
“Heaven and earth”
“The lonely tree”
What are your first thoughts when you see these paintings?
For the last eight weeks I been so lucky to lead a painting class for a group of people I have never worked with before.
In norwegian they are labelled as “Psykisk utviklingshemmede” and when we translate it to english, through google translate, the result is “mentally retarded”. I hate that word, and I prefer to call them “psykisk utviklingsbegavede”, wich would translate into something like “Mentally gifted”.
I have learned so much from these past weeks and I feel totally blessed to be able to share the joy of painting.
I hope you are able to reach beyond the limitations of our language and our need to label people and put them in boxes.
I’ve done painting classes for years now, I worked with “normal” people that have been struggeling so much with expressing themselfs, phrases like: “I cant do this”, “I cant paint”, “I’m not able to”, and so forth.
The hardest part is to help people let go of their own selfjudgements and their need to put them selfs down, never beeing able to be satisfied, with anything.
Where does all this negativity come from?
Are we brought up to think that we never are good enough?
Are we trained to not seperate ourselfs from the pack?
Is recognition from others our main goal?
I been through a fantastic learning experience and I think I learned a lot more then the participants in these 8 weeks.
From the first day of painting, one of the participants said some words that are burned into my mind and heart, he said; “I feel so happy in my heart when I paint”.
Never, ever, have I heard those words from anybody in any other classes I have ever done, nor have I said those word to myself, even though I feel it every time the brushes touches the canvas.
So who are the conscious one?
Ask yourself, did the paintings change after you read this?
Does the artists and their work suddenly have another value?
The paintings havent changed, but maybe you have.
They are so gifted cause they dont have the limitiations we have, they dont have these rigid filters burning our selfbeliefe down, even when you consider what some of them have been through. Instead of judging them and pretending to not see them and underestimate them, we should open our hearts and learn from them, especially in todays society where everyone and everything has to be so extremely perfect.
There are artist working their asses off to try and express themselfs like this, but for this group of people its pure joy and excitement, like it should be!