I was invited to contribute to an article by Connect Hearing, about creative techniques for bonding and non-verbal communication, which is useful for couples and families where one or more people have hearing loss.




by Denise Daffara

Art is visual, sensory and vast in its diversity, it can be noisy or quiet depending on it’s content, it actually often does speak to us, but to a feeling sensing part in us. Evidenced by a visit to an art exhibition, if you go in open hearted to a museum and take in the paintings; it is very likely you will be moved and touched in ways that are unique to the transmission of art through our eyes to our heart.

Creating art together can provide a powerful way for couples to communicate without words. Colour, line, shape and form can and do show up in myriad different ways. We don’t always have words to express what we might be experiencing within. Making art may connect us to our vulnerability, a part in us that may be playful, free and alive, or restricted and shut down if we received criticism as a child for our drawings.

For this reason it is most important to open up a safe space to create within. Have some agreements in place ahead of time. Freedom of expression rather than feedback on it. To make art alongside a partner is a brave act for some, but in my experience the rewards can be great. I believe that when someone creates from their heart they are sharing with you a piece of their soul. The intimacy and depth of connection this can open up in relationship has a whole world of possibility.

One of the ways I teach and encourage students is a very relaxed form of art journaling, contained in a purpose made smash book.

If you would like to experience the opening that intentional creativity can offer you as an individual or a couple I would recommend that you relax into this. Treat it as a privilege and an honour (it is) to have the trust of your partner to share such vulnerability with each other. Seek out materials and ways of creating that bring you joy.

Allow yourselves to be playful. Agree that there are no rules, if you have rules in your head already, go ahead and break them all.

There is much richness and freedom to be found in creative play, perhaps wordless ways to release our grip on worries and concerns for a time and simply be.


Warmest wishes and

may this year delight you, often.

Denise x

Tragedy of life WM Lewis dd drawing