Wellbeing Through the Arts

“Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life.” ~ Pablo Picasso

Participating in artistic work enables us to connect to ourselves as individuals and explore our inner life which shares its essential nature with the spirit. We develop new insights into who we are and are enlivened and renewed through the creative journey. 

Neuroscience research and the study of neuroaesthetics reveals the transformative impact of the arts on wellbeing, learning, mental health, and healing. [1]

This course invites you to explore the therapeutic value of working with a range of artistic modalities. Although not a formal art therapy training, it offers an experiential framework for wellbeing, based upon an anthroposophical understanding of human development, and based upon tools used in Steiner/Waldorf education. 

This practical online course requires no prior experience or specialist education and is for everyone–educators, school counsellors, therapists, and those working in other capacities with children and adults.  You may experience healing benefits for yourself and find ways to offer similar experiences to students, children, and people you care for.

In this course we will:

  • Explore clay work
  • Learn about the four lower senses
  • Practice drawing and form drawing
  • Observe forms in the natural world using a phenomenological technique sometimes called Goethean observation
  • Bring order to chaos from the two-dimensional to the three-dimensional
  • Develop the will
Through art we have an enlivened path for transformation – it is the place from which the soul reaches out for health and wellbeing.
"Your sessions have been a true blessing and inspiration to me...my deep gratitude for all you have brought." - Carolyn, Primary School Teacher

"Thanks for a rich term of learning through experiencing. I am finding the course so enriching and beneficial for my work. The assistance you provide has also been relevant to my process." - Kate, Art Therapist

"I have learnt so much - you have brought to life concepts from Steiner’s work in a way that has helped me really understand them anew." - Alix, course participant

Clay modelling

Sculptural modelling works on human development by providing our senses with a rich experience, enhancing our abilities as sensitivity and skills are developed in our hands.  It works on our emotional intelligence when it challenges and pulls us, when we try to find meaningful expression, and when we try to overcome our hurdles and limits, whatever they may be. It also works on intellectual abilities and thought processes, particularly on flexibility of thought. It is an ideal material to work with the dissociating forces that stress imposes. Working with this malleable material develops our will-capacity and resilience to accomplish and complete tasks in other fields. Finally it gives us the opportunity to integrate our thinking, feeling and willing.

Form drawing

“…movement made visible…reflections and rotations, geometric figures and intricate interlaced designs illustrating beauty, harmony and balance….”  – Rosemary Gebert

Form drawing is as much a process as it is an art form.  In form drawing we work with the movement and polarity of the straight and the curved line and the positive and negative spaces in between, creating the plane.

Drawing archetypal forms aids to balance one’s own nature.  It encourages thinking, feeling and will development, and it works deeply on our multi-sensory development, in particular the four lower senses. 

Nature observations and art

We will undertake Goethean observation, observing plants and using a variety of modalities to draw, paint and model them.  When we closely observe nature, we experience beauty in the body, take this into our memory which lives in the etheric body, allow it to enter our feeling life, thus strengthening and forming our inner core.  This way of working is a therapy for the senses, inviting trust in life, while harmonising body, soul and spirit.   

When we observe nature closely and quietly, we experience its beauty and wisdom.  Developing presence and phenomenological skills allows us to bring depth to our observations.  Working with this method of observation–which includes drawing, painting and clay modelling–enlivens our senses, our feeling life, thinking and memory, thus forming and strengthening our inner being.

Drawing and watercolour painting

Working with colour affects our moods, feelings, our sense of wellbeing and even our health.  It can nourish our sense of sight and stimulate mobility in mental imagery.  We can create dynamic drawings or paintings or calming ones depending on our use of colour and composition.  

Practical Information

Term 3:  22 July – 2 September

Term 4:  7 October – 18 Novermber

7.00 – 8.30pm

Every Monday evening live-streamed online.

Each session will be recorded and available for viewing for the duration of the course.  Recordings will be removed at the end of the term.  It is the responsibility of each student to keep up-to-date with the sessions.

Tania Hungerford

Tania Hungerford is the tutor for Wellbeing Through the Arts.   She has trained teachers at the Melbourne Rudolf Steiner Seminar for over 20 years across a range of courses and subjects, bringing a depth of experience working out of education, art and anthroposophy.  She has worked as a sculptor, maker and ceramic artist, as well as a workshop facilitator and tutor for most of her adult life.  She draws on a comprehensive background of training in the areas of counselling and art therapy, sculpture, functional ceramics, phenomenological nature observation, anthroposophy, and Steiner education.  In the Advanced Diploma of Rudolf Steiner Education course she develops inclusive teaching practices for working with children with special learning needs.  She also teaches communication and conflict resolution, and understanding and working with trauma.

Over the past decade Tania has offered many professional development programs to Waldorf teachers in schools around Australia and in Asia. Tania has qualifications including a Certificate in Steiner Education; Advanced Diploma in Rudolf Steiner Education; Certificate in Biography Counselling; Bachelor of Social Science/Counselling; Grad Diploma in Experiential and Creative Art; Masters of Therapeutic Arts Practice;  Certificate of Training and Assessment.

$445 per term

If you wish to withdraw from a course, please send an email to c.kwong@steinerseminar.edu.au.    

  • If you withdraw prior to a course beginning we will refund any fees paid, less a $100 administration fee.
  •  If you withdraw after the first session of the course, we will refund any fees paid,

Participants will receive a Certificate of Professional Development upon completion, subject to your attendance of all sessions or demonstrating proof of having viewed the recordings. 

This course is non-accredited and does not lead to a qualification.

 

Please purchase before the course begins:

  • 1x 10-15kg bag of clay. For instance, Walkers Ceramics ‘School earthenware/Stoneware clay. But any clay suitable for hand building will be fine. No air dry clay please.
  • Charcoal drawing pencil
  • Coloured drawing pencils (optional: pastels if you enjoy working with them) 
  • Watercolour paints and small brush of your choice.  An inexpensive watercolour paint set will be satisfactory.
  • Paper for drawing and painting with watercolour.  It need not be very thick or expensive as we will not be soaking the paper.
For information or assistance please call Carmen on 03 9876 5199 or email c.kwong@steinerseminar.edu.au .

[1] Magsamen, Susan and Ross, Ivy. Your Brain On Art – How the Arts Transforms Us. Random House 2023.