Following our successful annual event held at 107 Projects in Green Square in June 2023, we were delighted to host our first ever Mami Watta Collections Beading Exhibition with the creations of multiple beading artists who created very unique pieces for the show. Including Joss Gabriel, Bibi Goul Mossavi, Deborah Prospero, Calorina Artist, The Indian Squad and Oroana.
It was clear from the event that Beading has very different ways that it can be expressed through each individual artist. What we did get to explore was also the ways that the practice of Beading can contribute to a holistic sense of well-being to all who practice it.
We asked a dear friend David Hedley, practicing Occupational Therapist with extensive experience working with children and families in Sydney, New Zealand, United States and beyond, to help us understand how a meditative practice like Beading can offer those who practice it.
Here is what he had to say:
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines health as ‘a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity’.
These pillars of health are reflected in beading as an activity, inviting the artist to experience, explore and express aspects of their physical and mental self. Beading welcomes the artist to connect with the self, the moment and the social space through integrating sensation, emotion and cognition enabling an opportunity to flow.
(My first original idea, Joucelen Gabriel, Beading Is exhibition June 2023)
“Inducing flow is about the balance between the level of skill and the size of the challenge at hand” (Nakamura et al., 2009).
The experience of flow within Beading offers an important component of creativity and wellbeing, flow can be described as a key aspect of self-actualization, and eudemonic wellbeing.
Since Beading is intrinsically rewarding, the more you practice it, the more you seek to replicate these experiences, which help lead to a fully engaged and happy life. The state of flow, has been known to slow heart rate, boost mood and reduce stress.
(The Indian Squad Collective Creations, Beading Is exhibition June 2023)
Creative thinking involves making new connections between different ideas, which is accomplished by cultivating divergent thinking skills and deliberately exposing yourself to new experiences and to learning. Beading empowers the artist to explore aspects of the creative self, through embodiment of colour, patterns and weaving meaning, intention and expression into each design.
Creativity is an opportunity to connect with playfulness, our inner child, the prospect of shifting from our analogue auto-pilot brain to a world where anything is possible. Many studies point to the benefits of creativity, for example reducing stress, anxiety, processing complex trauma and even boosting immunity.
Beading is a way of establishing a presence of mind, through focus, determination and motivation, but yet allowing the mind to wander. A process of building skills to navigate through all that is conscious or unconscious, to integrate the internal and external experience, to separate from what is and what was, and to look towards what may be.
‘…you are neither here nor there, a hurry through which known and strange things pass…’ (Postscript, Seamus Heaney)
(Ancestral, 4 Elements, 4 Directions, Calorina Artist, Beading Is exhibition June 2023)
So after reading such a refreshing insight from this awesome health practitioner, I am sure you will get to experience beading from a different perspetive.
And one element that was not discussed in this article but it was for sure experienced, was the power that Beading can have in bringing community together!!
(Bibi speaking of her beading artwork, Beading Is exhibition June 2023)
(Maryam, Meher and Joss, submitting artists at Beading Is exhibition June 2023)
(Sixth Anniversary Mami Watta Collections, Beading Is exhibition June 2023)
(David Hedley and team Beading Is exhibition June 2023)
Keep an eye on our Journal as we go deeper and deeper at learning more about the ancient art practice of beading! until next time !