Message on a Canvas

Please select a featured image for your post

Amid the roof of the 7th floor on a building in Down Town lies a colorful haven; an Art Therapy Center. It is a destination for the stressed and the lost whilst some people go there just to play with color brushes. Once you set your foot inside, you’ll discover the comforting effect of the place with its walls decorated with various paintings, some show characters, some show flowers, some show zombies and others are randomly striped and dotted. There are paintings that one might think of as nonsense but they hide deep mysteries and secrets of the painter that only one person discovers as he takes a quick look at them, Dr. Magdy Refaat.

As I went to write about the place, I was assigned to draw three different paintings, and due to the terrible painter I am I decided just to draw waves and eye shapes just to see what will happen. Dr. Magdy took a look at my drawings and this is when it all began. With a few looks at my drawing Dr. Magdy confronted me with my inner self solely by connecting imaginary dots from my drawing.

A friendly nature and a passion for arts make Dr. Magdy a safe haven for stranded souls and stressed out urban dwellers unwinding on canvas. It all began with art classes at Behmen, a well known rehab center, “it’s stunning what could come out from a patient’s painting” he tells me as he shows me a painting of a head on a table with blood pouring, which was of a patient struggling with suicide thoughts. Luckily, through art therapy an early detection of suicidal tendencies is possible and one can start helping the patient overcoming depression. Stressed people could go and paint randomly to unleash the stress as it’s a silent expression of a number of emotions. “Churchill used to paint during the chaos of World War II to vent stress”, Dr Magdy adds.

The opening of his Art Therapy Center followed soon offering friends and acquaintances a forum of self-expression. It wasn’t until word of mouth spread like wildfire among all sorts of people from various walks of life, randomly sitting in a room painting their experiences as a form of catharsis. By time many regulars have marked their territory in his center, you just walk in and start to draw, after that you can sit with Dr. Magdy for counseling based on first come first serve basis. It is free of charge as you never pay for painting or for counseling, “Human relations aren’t for sale”, Dr. Magdy explains as lots of people holding their drawings socialize around us, “the colors, electricity fees, and maintenance of the place require money, so I decided to make a small sized fund raising box for people who want to pitch in with any amount of money left to their discretion”.

Art Therapy doesn’t treat diseases, it treats disorders. By looking at a painting the therapist could identify what a person feels and goes through. Anyone can visit the center regardless of age or gender. “Usually females visit the center more as they tend to want to know themselves more than males”.

Color choice is very important in the identification, but at the end the whole painting is considered. Sometimes the disorder or the stress emerge from the first painting and other times it takes more than a painting to discover a person’s feelings and thoughts.

No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.