Rinaldo Klas (visual artist and director of the Nola Hatterman Art Academy) and Leonnie van Eert (agogical worker and artistic counselor) have been working with 20-26 children between 6 to 16 years of age, who are under the care of Stichting voor het Kind [Foundation for the Child], during the last three months of 2011, and again, during the first months of 2012.
The aim of these art activities is to create an atmosphere, in which the children can relax, and feel free to express their feelings and emotions in a creative way. Ultimately this will make the children feel more confident.
At the end of June 2012 the work made by the children was presented in an exhibition in the Nola Hatterman Art Academy. The main sponsor of the project, Quota, could see the results of the children’s efforts. Sranan Art was invited to take a look too and here are many pictures to see the beautiful art made by these children who have had a bad start in life. Again this shows that art can be a powerful tool to make life a lot better. Art can be the beginning of change.
When asked what the children have gained from participating in the activity, Leonnie and Rinaldo answered: “In future times the children can recall the time that they were respected and regarded as a valuable person with their own talents. That people believe they are worth to continue their development”.
When the children started, they mostly used tones of black and grey. They have learnt to use other colors and this has empowered their inner strength, they have gained self confidence.
Working with different materials shows that working with clay seems to trigger a more intense type of reaction with some children. They start to mold the clay into a round ball, than an egg form and from there they make a small animal.
Often the children are unruly, boisterous and agitated. It takes a lot of effort to get their attention and to create different atmosphere. One of the ways Leonnie and Rinaldo have achieved a different atmosphere is to do relaxation exercise at the beginning of the activity. One exercise takes two minutes of silence, spent with closed eyes, during which the children concentrate on the sounds of their surroundings, the space, the wind that blows … Then they start drawing. Lines, movement of hairs, water, wind …