Kintsugi, or Kintsukuroi, is the centuries-old Japanese art of fixing broken pottery. Rather than rejoin ceramic pieces with a camouflaged adhesive, the technique employs a special tree sap lacquer dusted with powdered gold, silver, or platinum.
This unique method celebrates each artifact’s unique history by emphasizing its fractures and breaks instead of hiding or disguising them. In fact, Kintsugi often makes the repaired piece even more beautiful than the original, revitalizing it with a new look and giving it a second life.
Southern Indiana Advocate, Molly, is working with victims of domestic and sexual violence to help them look forward to a second life. She works with her clients in group settings on art projects such as the “broken vase exercise” to teach the healing and beauty of being a survivor. By using paint and tape to create pieces of the broken vase, the art has depth and meaning. Group sessions take place at our Southern Indiana location, and even at the Clark County Jail with some of the female inmates. This is an open, safe space for them to talk and heal with one another. Molly’s activities guide them through different lessons that activate feelings of pride and resilience within. The artwork brings in elements of nature and growth through painted rocks, planted seeds, and word association collages. Using mediums such as clay and recycled items shows the women that they too are still full of purpose and can transform their lives.
It is Molly’s goal to continue growing this group session and use more mediums for art and creation like clay and driftwood. Some of the women have relayed that by distracting the hands and mind and focusing on creating art, they’ve let down their guard and can speak and feel more freely about their trauma and healing journey. The sessions are a healthy distraction and coping mechanism for survivors. Molly said she would also love to have an art show one day featuring the group’s creations. Inmate’s art is saved and will be sent home with them as they are released. Hopefully having those visual reminders of beauty from trauma will be an inspiration for their future. Art has the power to help us heal and grow. We love seeing the creations that come from the inmates and others in Molly’s group sessions and the growth of her clients. Together through the healing nature of artwork, we’re giving individuals a look at their second life.