Usha will be spending time in and around iC4C over the Summer and into Autumn 2022. Here Usha discribes her research in her own words.
Be-ing – in – touch has been born out of the pandemic. I was conscious be-ing a-part has meant for so many the contact of physical connection has been sparse – if at all! Touch is an essential ‘vitamin’ – a vital part of our being – our health and wellbeing. Our skin is one of our largest organs – an incredible universe of functions and nourishments on so many levels!
Earlier this year I wanted to offer those in my community an opportunity to reconnect with the world of touch in the their lives especially where it had been absent or remote. I ran a few pilot sessions that have now become part of this residency enquiry. I’m looking to bring touch to our sense of well being through informative, creative, playful, sensitive + respectful explorations. The invitation is simply “if you have missed positive and affirming qualities of touch you are welcome”.
As I begin my residency I am interested in the process of reaching local groups and individuals. I’m aware it takes time – word of mouth – serendipitous chance encounters, the ripple and return. As I circulate my flyers often by hand – deeper conversations arise. At the local Elders home the Office manger tells me she has many residence who are still reluctant to leave their rooms. A friend shares she’s ‘lost her trust and the thought of touch and being touched feels so alien …it’s not for me’. As the restrictions were lifted and ‘circulation’ started to return, it hasn’t been easy for everyone to make that transition. Safety in distance remains and isolation for some still prevails….
How do we create experiences to soften and gently energise the way?
I am looking forward to the continued unfolding of this time ….
Comments from participants:
“I walked in feeling anxious and walked out feeling so settled and grounded. It’s brought me back to my body and now it’s wanting more !”
“All this is new to me – I don’t understand bodies at all – its’ so invigorating and relaxing at the same time !”
‘…you don’t realise how much you crave touch until you receive touch – thank you for creating such a welcoming space. It’s been a great experience – so good to feel back in touch with myself !”
“… you woke up the curiosity in me as you attended to layers of touch in so many different and interesting ways. I felt at ease from the beginning”
Header image by Christine Haywood.