“To make living itself an art, that is the goal” were words once spoken by Henry Miller. In the case of Cloud Workshop, children bearing the weight of this while loved ones live no longer is the catalyst behind assisting young ones to channel grief and loss in a creative and healthy way.
Throughout history, complex feelings have been the emotive secret formula to producing powerful artworks. For Cloud Workshop however, the use of this model isn’t centred in producing work for accolades, or to uncover a new age Da Vinci. It’s about opening up a safe space for young ones who need a holiday from the burden of being a bereaved child.
Directed by New Zealand Photographer Deborah Smith, ‘Cloud’ is a vision she throws her heart and soul into making happen after experiencing the difficult road of being a bereaved child herself. “It was a pretty rugged train wreck for me & my siblings to navigate,” says Deb. “I believe in art, the imagination and the value of being around others who have been in a similar boat to you. So in some ways, we’ve made what my siblings and I needed.”
The workshop unfolds on selected Sundays, as children come together to make, create and take comfort in being around others who understand.
For Deb, the rewards are plenty. “Seeing these children engrossed in making great work, making friends and hopefully feeling a little less alien in their grief is what makes it worthwhile,” she says. “I always tell them creativity is a great tool, even if you want to be an accountant or an All Black or anything – you’ll have an edge if you can think creatively.”
To get in touch with Deb at Cloud Workshop to reserve a space for someone you know in 2018 please visit www.cloudworkshop.co.nz