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June 2012

Visualising Emotions – Iniva Creative Learning

Each month Iniva Creative Learning post some handy tips for using the images on our Emotional Learning Cards in a variety of settings and circumstances. This month we focus on a practical exercise for using the cards as a means to better understand our emotions. 

Often our difficulty around positively dealing with emotions stems from our inability to recognise them in the first place. Contemporary art contains an almost unlimited range of unusual and emotive images. As such they can help us to articulate and visualise our emotional responses. 

Create your own Emotional Learning Card

  • Start by looking through a number of different Cards. Discuss the imagery within the Cards and think about what emotions the images evoke. 
  • What is it about the image that suggests the emotion? Think about the colours used in the image, the placing of bodies and/or objects. Is there a story or a situation that the image suggests which evokes the particular emotional response?
  • Leading on from the discussion, it’s time to create your own Emotional Learning Card. Decide on an emotion you want to represent. This decision may be governed by your particular situation (i.e. if there is an issue with anger management you might decide to explore anger as an emotion). 
  • Cut out a coloured card the same size and shape as an Emotional Learning Card.  Thinking back to the discussion you had around the Cards decide how to visually represent the chosen image. Will it be through collage, drawing and/or painting? Will it be representative or metaphorical, realistic or surreal? You may want to write text or use lyrics from a song or a poem, either embedded within the image or written on the back of each card. 
In making the card you have in effect “created” a representation” of that particular emotion. The young adult will have been given the freedom, in a positive, safe and creative environment to explore and examine the emotion and so will be able to recognise and better respond to it in the future. During the activity you will no doubt be in conversation with the young adult. Take advantage of this, asking questions and prompting them to articulate their responses through words as much as through the image-making.
Once the image is complete its important that it is kept and treasured- throwing it away will not send out a good message! You may want to put it in a scrap book or hang it on a wall and you may want to refer back to it at some point in the future.
You can buy our Emotional Learning Cards on our website, as well as download free resources that give suggestions for other practical activity. Visit our Store

Social Archive Two: Fluctuating Economies in Shoreditch

Iniva are pleased to be working with Undocumentary (artists Jessica Harrington and Shiraz Bayjoo) for Social archive Two.  Here are a few images we captured whilst documenting their first recording with Noah from Maiden shop, 188 Shoreditch High Street.

Organised by Iniva as part of Art at the Intersection: Art and Economics, a three year initiative exploring critical and creative approaches to economics. Social Archive Two is a film project where members of the general public are invited to adopt the role of socio-economic historians, recording people working and living in Shoreditch and their reflections on their economic futures. 


We had a delightful time at Maiden with Noah who gave us an insightful stream of consciousness into what an independent businesses in the East End is confronted by.

We’ll be sure to upload the film in due time.

Art from West Africa Today

Iniva are very pleased for artist Abdoulaye Konaté whose work is showing in We Face Forward – Art From West Africa Today in various galleries and museums across Manchester

 Over the Olympic summer, Manchester is celebrating the global and the local, exploring the links between the city and West Africa as part of the London 2012 cultural festival with exhibition We Face Forward: Art from West Africa Today (2 June – 16 September 2012).

 Major new sculptural installations, painting, drawing, photography, textiles, video, sound and fashion ask visitors to consider global questions of trade and commerce, cultural influence, environmental destruction and identity. Challenging and humorous, curious, noisy, elegiac and eclectic – this is the dynamism of West African cultures today. These form a huge, city-wide exhibition, spreading across Manchester Art Gallery, Whitworth Art Gallery and the Gallery of Costume (Platt Hall).


Iniva are delighted that Malian artist Abdoulaye Konaté’s work is included in the show, specifically a piece that we commissioned him to create for the annual window spot at Rivington Place last December. Pouvoir et Religion, 2011 (Power and Religion), is a 7m long textile work which explores the position of Christianity and Islam within political and cultural life.

Find out more about the artist and his display at Iniva at Rivington Place here. There is also a gallery of images of the artist in his studio creating the work.

About the artist

Born in 1953 in Diré in Mali, Konate now lives and works in Bamako, Mali. He studied painting in Bamako and then in Havana, Cuba for seven years. His practices include painting and installation work.

In 2008 Konaté was nominated for the Artes Mundi prize. Major group shows include documenta 12 in 2007 and Africa Remix, Contemporary Art of a Continent in 2005 at the Hayward Gallery, London and toured to Paris, Tokyo and Dusseldorf.