Art and health

February – 2021

15th February –  5th March 2020

Ashwasa Bhavan, Fort Kochi

Using visual art for emotional healing. The project worked on the inner child, to heal fear and develop courage by creating a story book of themselves.

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December – 2019

3rd December 2019

Brostal School, Kakkanad District Prison

Using script writing to change life scripts. Story board, characters and plots.


August – 2019

20th August 2019

Kakkanad District Prison

Seven volunteers attended the art workshop at Kakanad District Prison. The theme was Masks, where inmates were asked to draw and colour the masks they felt they wear. The aim of the workshop was expression, to help  them contemplate and recognises the masks one wears.

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April – 2019

13th April 2019

Udhay Slum

The movement therapy activities for the older children at Udhaya Slum, in Kochi, included trust exercises, choreography with props, teamwork and friendship. The smaller children had lighter activities to express their individual emotions through movement.

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December – 2018

10th December 2018

St Thomas School, Thevara

In collaboration with Kashi Art Gallery, TAOS visiting artist Shubha Taparia works with students with inexpensive, everyday materials to help them get in touch with themselves to emotionally heal. Using newspaper, she created a collage workshop that centered round their feelings and expressions, with no specific  focus on skill.

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November – 2018

22nd November 2018

Women’s Prison at Kakkanad District Jail

The women at the District Jail, were given the theme of rain and weather, owing to the recent Kerala floods. TAOS Psychologist Reena Cherian explained that clouds bear emotions and the droplets tend to signify the pain pressed.

Interestingly, one group of women chose a design to express what they felt. The impact of the works were deciphered as having fairly good community bonding and peer support.

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October – 2018

10th October 2018

Borstal School and Women’s Prison (Name undisclosed)

To mark World Mental Health Day, TAOS conducted art therapy session at the Borstal School and Women’s prison, guided by Art therapist Meghna Girish. The purpose of the Session was to instill a sense of belongingness and to incorporate individual work into a group work setting.

As an ice breaker, the participants were asked to pick a crayon and scribble on the paper and to see what came out of their scribbling. They then formed small groups and work on a chart paper with crayons, origami paper and gum. Then they were asked to name their art work and give a brief on it.

The group activity allowed space for social skills, while being able to put an individual mark on it.

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August – 2018

Flood Relief

August 20, 2018

St.Antony’s Higher Secondary School, Kacheripady

As a part of TAOS’s contribution to flood relief work, members visited the relief camp at St. Antony’s school in Kacheripady, Kochi. The purpose of the visit was to help victims deal with the trauma and stress created by the flood.

Ms. Reena Sebastian, TAOS member, had prepared a schedule which was effectively implemented among the women and children at the relief centre, by TAOS volunteers. A presentation of the motivational story “Pishi Caught in a Storm” stirred up participation among the children. Creating a model of the “Tree of life” helped the adult participants to perceive the value of their life.

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July – 2018

July 26, 2018

Prison Workshop (name undisclosed)

In collaboration with the Centre for Constitutional Rights, Research and Advocacy (CCRRA), TAOS organized a fabric collage workshop for inmates of a correctional facility in Cochin.

Vagaram Choudhary, a Rajasthan based visual artist and Natallia Bahuschevich, a Belarusian painter and sculptor guided the workshop.

Initially, the participants made drawings on paper related to different topics like freedom, love, God etc. These images were then copied onto pieces of fabric and finally the pieces of fabric were placed together and transformed into an image of an elephant.

The participants showcased their creative skills and came up with an amazing piece of transformative art.

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June – 2018

June 2018

Udhaya Colony

TAOS facilitated an art therapy session with 16 women from Udaya Colony in Kochi. The group comprised of women aged 25 to 45 working as refuse collectors with Kochi corporation on sub-contracting basis. The group identity depicted several apparent layers of marginalisation beginning from gender to caste, class and religious identity. To represent and express about themselves, the women depicted ones’s body on paper and used varied colours.

Ragini (name changed), a widow was emotional while depicting her body on paper, she shared that her children giver her happiness while the body longs for her lost husband. Rekha (name changed) introduced the issue of domestic violence through her art work, she said “…I am using red in this part of the body because red is the colour of blood, I want blood to flow in my body.”

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April – 2018

April 10, 2018

Art for emotional healing – At a prison (Name undisclosed)

The art workshop for women prisoners at a prison was conducted from 10:00 – 12:30 p.m.

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February – 2017

February 2017

Edmundo Dos Santos, SOI member, worked on emotional expression with students of St Joseph’s School, Kumbalangi. A circle “of the self” was drawn and filled with figures representing emotions. Following this, the children connected their circles to each other’s , creating a sense of togetherness and community.

This was followed by an excercise of finger painting to connect colours to emotions.

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January – 2017

January 2017

Art Therapist Edmundo Dos Santos from Barcelona, Spain works at Aster Hospital to help children with cancer. Using art materials and objects used to treat cancer patients (tubes, syringes etc), Santos works with children to help find emotional healing.This project is in collaboration with SOI.

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December – 2016

3rd, 4th December 2016

Women Empowerment Workshop with SOI member Edmundo Santos

The day and a half workshop designed specifically to help women unlock their creative powers and become more self-sufficient saw great change and empowerment in them. The workshop involved symbolic understanding of a woman’s life in terms of relationships, desires and needs. Letting go of negatives to a more happy and secure life were the core points of the workshop. Edmundo used art and creative movement for the process.


November – 2016

November 2016

Workshop and Presentation at Gems International School

TAOS, along with Artist Edmundo, organised an introductory workshop at Gems International School on November 14. The event revolved around understanding relationships, expression and the concept of free thinking.

Edmundo asked the students and teachers to sit in groups and together, draw a concept they decided. Using this concept, they expressed an emotion connected to it and put up a mini- theatrical presentation.

For his presentation for the teachers, Edmundo explained how he helps teachers understand themselves and the children they deal with. This introduction to his work aimed to help educators understand how art expressive therapy can help them perform better.

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September – 2016

20th, 21st September 2016

Creative Movement Therapy

Volunteer Susheela Pai worked with the (slum) children of Udhaya Colony in Kochi, to help them find emotional healing through movement. A trained classical dancer and creative movement therapist, Susheela spend the first workshop in ice- breaking exercises to help the participants ( aged 12 and up) to feel comfortable with the group and to get in touch with their emotions. The second day of the workshop saw therapy where participants had to use body movements followed by hand movements. Divided into groups, these children learnt how to express their emotions through movement to each other and by themselves (emotions such as anger, hate, happiness, joy).

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The Art Expressive Therapy Workshop in collaboration with Street Heroes of India (SOI)

Andrea Tabernero used visual art to help participants get in touch with their true self. With details of a psychological framework made by clinical psychologist Saisha Partiman, Tabernero devised methods for participants to express their emotions in a gradual wave- from their negative emotions that helped understand the root of their trauma and pain which and later, the positive emotions. This workshop aimed to enable individuals to heal past experiences that have hindered them from leading fulfilling lives and realize the real focus of their emotions.