We have ended our work with all the Art Club groups and we will now review the last activity, a drawing with the theme: "How do you see yourself?" Many of the girls appeared to find making a self-portrait both extremely intriguing and challenging. It seemed to us as if the task of exploring the inner self by drawing increased the level of self-criticism in the group. The girls found it hard to begin with their images, often drew with very faint lines, and seemed to experience frustration when they could not erase their previous marks on the paper.
In the beginning of the session we made an effort to encourage the girls to express themselves in a free, playful manner and led a preparatory warm-up exercise with music. We also stressed that the self-portraits do not need to look realistic, "as you see yourself in a mirror".
The challenge of making a self-portrait was also reflected in the process of sharing the images. There were several girls who referred to the characters in their drawings as "my friend", "twin sister", or talked about them in third person. When we were discussing the art works together as a group, we tentatively asked these girls, whether they had started drawing themselves and then changed the character to be someone else. The answer was "yes". We were then told that the reason for changing the character to someone else was that "it is too difficult to draw myself." Nevertheless, all the girls were able to point out characteristics from their drawings, which closely related to themselves.
With all the five groups creating a narrative around the picture seemed to help the girls share their experience of themselves.