DFES Picasso Art Team Building Event in Perth

January 19, 2017

As we go about our daily life we often underestimate the place that art has in our lives. Art on most occasions is more about decoration than meaning. As you dig deeper art plays a significant role in the human experience to illuminate the very deep parts of our soul. Over the past month DFES comcen employees have embarked on a journey to uncover the importance of art especially in the process of reflection as the four platoons came to end of another big year. This team building Perth activity was actively participated by the different teams from DFES.

Over the four platoons there was a plethora of diverse personalities in which different strengths and weaknesses emerged. Each group having a very different flavour to the next. The employees of DFES are charged with great responsibility and often deal with high stress scenarios as they respond the the 000 emergency calls.

This event enabled them to wind down and channel themselves into the art world and to also have a bunch of fun and laughs as over the four groups many hidden talents emerged. The run down of the event would see the BTB facilitator take the group into the world of art and focusing on the left side of the brain. That place where limitations are released, visions are developed and dreams realised. This is really important in this program as we want to see artworks developed not flow charts.

Kicking of the events we got the teams to process the lighter side of art with a drawing 101 class that saw the teams getting some hints and tips about Gesture drawing and drawing life models. Much to the surprise of the superior officers Syd and Ant they took on the role of life models and by the second and third round certainly found there groove as the employees drew there superiors. Many laughs had and some great portraits of the men emerged over the four sessions.

The Picasso big picture event is all geared towards bringing two concepts together. These are art and team work. Art is normally a very individual pursuit so combining these concepts is quite rare. The next stanza of the session was all about clear communication and the way a team member can communicate clearly, directly and with accuracy as they had to reproduce an image based on their verbal communication. This is great activity as it highlights the need to step back a take in the bigger picture before embarking on the task. It also is great warm up for their final task in the session.

With a brush up in basic drawing and communications the attention then would turn to the media of acrylic painting and executing a painting on canvas. With a brief demonstration by the facilitator on basic colour mixing, over coming you fear to let it flow and some brush techniques the teams would begin the journey of completing the artwork.

Beginning with a bit of planning around a theme of "working as one team" and a focus on values of integrity, confidence, reliance, and resilience the teams combined to produce a design that reflected them and their being part of the DFES team. Over the four sessions the teams came up with some great takes on this concept. An array of ideas involving lighthouses, water, new life, trees, dogs, roses, symbols of hope and identity and even some minions got some canvas time in the teams designs. Each of the teams channeling their emotions, feeling and reflections on to canvas together.

What came to life over the four sessions was not only a great array of images, but also the very embodiment of those values in the very process of creating the pieces and working together in often was a new experience or one they had not done since early school days. As the facilitator I saw fears overcome, emotions released through colour and a whole bunch of joy.

To finish of the sessions we had the art exhibitions and as they teams mostly stood proudly in front of there creations as they shared the vision and meaning behind their pieces. Each platoon bringing different insights about working for DFES and being part of one big team.

The final part of this Picasso big picture sessions was the the hidden bigger message that would see the four teams contributing to the nearly 40 people involved in this DFES team. When all the the teams would combine the 12 canvases they would have a 3.7 metre by 1.5 metre mural that would read the uniting message of "4 SHIFTS ONE TEAM" in the midst of their colourful images and designs.

Working with psychologist Neesha and superior officer Syd this event proved to be a great success on so many fronts as the DFES team learnt more about them as a team and the individuals that make up each of the 4 platoons. With great feedback from the participants the team building activities proved to be a great step forward for this team becoming a super team.


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