Empathy and care are meaningful topics to reflect on in the current situation of the Covid-19 pandemic. We are made to think about others who may be more vulnerable, help your neighbours, re-engage with community values, appreciate key workers and also to 'look after oneself'. The conversation that developed around the notion of 'looking after oneself' was insightful as we all reflected on the what and how of 'taking care of oneself', particularly as mothers. We all agreed that it was actually quite a difficult thing to do. How do we become empathetic to yourself? I suggested we could listen to Elizabeth Day's podcast 'How to Fail'. In one particular recording, philosopher Alain de Botton talks to Day about vulnerability in the time of Coronavirus.
We also discussed about whether empathy could be connected with creative activities such as painting, drawing, sculpture and dancing.
Is it possible to empathise with materials?
Can we also see our group art activity (the previous one being the Gentle Act in Isolation) as a form of care?
So we decided to embark on a new art activity 'Empathetic Grid' to develop the notion of art as form of care. The activity involves each participant creating a 4 x 4 grid (of any size) then filling in 4 spaces before passing on to the next participant. By the time the drawing reaches the fifth person, all of the grids would be filled. The fifth person then responds to the images/texts/drawings that fill the grids in whatever way she likes to create a final artwork.
The final art works will be uploaded on this blog page before the next PIRG session (19 June) so watch this space.
Posted by Noriko.