Finding a voice through art
| James Kon |
WITH limited communication skills, special needs children can, through art, give them a voice to express themselves.
This was highlighted by the founder of Big Ones Little Ones, Trish Amichi from Australia, during her visit to Pusat Ehsan recently to conduct an art workshop for the special needs children.
Trish is currently in Brunei for the Big Ones Little Ones’ ‘In My World’ exhibition, which is held at the Art Gallery of the Dermaga Diraja until February 19.
In an interview with the famed Australian artist, she said, “We work with special needs children in China, and having said that, we have favourable experience in guiding these special needs children in education. It’s wonderful to work with them.”
She explained that, “Special needs children do not necessarily have the voice that we have, they have restricted communication skills, and hence, getting them to explain through art work, they are given a voice.
“Art is one of the hundreds of languages that people take up, especially children. It’s a channel of communication for the kids to express their voice, imagination, feelings and ideas,” she added.
In the current exhibition in Brunei, Trish said, “There are also a number of art works from special needs centre on display, which gives the special needs children an equal opportunity as other children to showcase their ability.”
Big Ones Little Ones (BOLO) is a unique trans-generational and cross cultural arts/education programme that recognises and acknowledges the significant role that art has in children’s development, education and learning, communication and culture. It started as an art and education programme designed especially for underprivileged and special needs children.
The founder of Big Ones Little Ones said, “It’s a very big exhibition in Brunei. I am hoping that the cultural exchange, which started small, will build on and Brunei will become a part of the Big Ones Little Ones annually.
“One day, Brunei’s artwork may possibly be displayed at exhibitions held by other participating countries in the programmes,” she added.
At present, more than 1,000 children from 50 communities in 30 countries have participated in the Big Ones Little Ones exhibitions held around the world.