Art Break Day 2015: Vulnerability & Play

Art Break Day 2015: Vulnerability & Play

Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change. ―Brené Brown

For the third year in Auroville, Sankalpa hosted Art Break Day, a global community art event including 40+ sites in US, Mexico, Canada, France, Australia and India. Our volunteer crew itself was incredibly diverse, representing US, Australia, Chilé, France, and India!

 Many schoolchildren returned a year later, a little taller, less shy and eager to sit down and start painting on the theme “I am”. The combination of staying for an hour or longer and working together outdoors seemed conducive to tactile and spontaneous play with materials, including paper folding, paint prints, finger-painting and even inclusion of leaves. Many young Indian men challenged a gender-related taboo of making art and thanked me for the encouragement and permission to be creative. The fact that these opportunities were simultaneous is the intersection of humanity we are so lucky to experience in Auroville.

There was a moment in the late afternoon when a quiet concentration entered the public space. I looked around with a hand on my heart, amazed and so touched to see such a range of participants, families, volunteers, workers on their tea break, old and new friends, each immersed in their creative process. The artwork hung on strings all around the space were lightly moving in the breeze, dappled sunlight streaming in through the trees, and I was deeply inspired to see the true sense of human unity in these moments. I felt Auroville alive in its dream to bring people together this way, with art as a vehicle for this vision.

A surprising number of individuals are afraid to sit down and create, either scarred by an overly critical art teacher in their childhood, or simply giving up creative pursuits in adolescence. A safe, open and non-judgmental atmosphere establishes trust and encourages vulnerability, helping many to return to that pure and playful space within and begin to share it with others. As an introduction to the potential of art therapy, community art offers a less intimidating, interactive and positive path to self-awareness. To express oneself takes genuine openness, and when masks and barriers are let down, there is a palpable shift in energy. To witness and facilitate this open, original self-expression both publicly and collectively is remarkable.

Thank you to Lauren and Lisa of Art is Moving for bringing together artists around the world for another global event; to an incredible crew of volunteers including Sarah, Marie-Claire, Pragya, Kate, Lark, Paloma and Gaurav; for the tireless support of Iyyappan in making all Sankalpa dreams possible; for the fresh perspectives and enthusiasm of young local photographers Vinay Elumalai, Hari Prashanth of CMDZPro Studio; and G photons; to Marc and Dreamer’s Café team, Nicole of Visitor’s Center for the openness to provide this event for the third year in Auroville; to PCG and Stichting de Zaaier for helping us to feature the Art Cart, and especially to the 200+ brave artists of all ages expressing themselves all day.

Additional photos from the event in this album.

-Krupa for Sankalpa (a subunit of Thamarai)