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Art | Illustration | Design

Heart on Your Paper - An Experiment in Being

Updated: Feb 3, 2022

My heart is fluid,

Like the blood in my body.

It's a pie chart,

Of dried leaves,

Butterflies and apple tarts.

My heart expands, so much

It takes some space in yours.

My heart is a song, but sometimes,

I can't sing along.

My heart is a glass bottle,

A mirror and, a pickle jar.

It breaks.

But it also






My heart is heavy.

My heart desires, but

it doesn't know what.

It is afraid of when it'll stop.

My heart is sleepless,

Like the moonshine.

It grows,

It is growing.

My heart is hopeless,

It is searching for its

Piece in yours.


“Perhaps it is true that we do not really exist until there is someone there to see us existing, we cannot properly speak until there is someone who can understand what we are saying in essence, we are not wholly alive until we are loved.”

Alain de Botton, On Love

Your heart is the map of your world, what makes up this world? What fills it up, what leaves it empty? How many hearts make up the whole world? What are we filling this world of worlds with?

The aim of the experiment is to bring about an understanding of the other through the understanding of oneself with the help of a facilitated experience of shared emotions; thereby creating trust among participants/ group of strangers.

In order to carry out this experiment, two participants will be paired up and provided with a drawing of a heart, some colours, various objects (that they would be asked to bring & collect) and a series of prompts that will help them fill in the picture of their heart.

Once they finish completing their heart, they would be asked to discuss their experience as a group as well as share some of their answers with others. Based on their shared experience, answers and choice, they would be asked to give their heart to someone in the room.


Step 1 – Introduction – Name/Place/Animal/Thing (5 minutes)

Step 2 – Collect things from outside – Anything that speaks to you - rocks/leaves/sand – objects of different textures – Fill in the given bowl (10 minutes)

Step 3 – Distribute the instruction cards to everyone in the room along with a sheet of paper on which they can draw a heart; Please fill in each column of the heart as an answer to the given questions. The questions can be interpreted as you like. There are no wrong answers.

1.Quick Vibe Check! You are here now, how are you feeling? Describe it in a word.
2.Look around you, from all the things you see, which of them would you like to be and why? Let that object take some space in your heart.
3.Play your favourite song to your partner, let them listen to it and from all the things that you have collected, paste an object that resonates with the texture of the way the song feels.
4.When you are missing home, what food brings you some comfort? Can you draw it out?
5.Close your eyes, and think you are home. Is home a place or a person? Does home have a colour? Pick that colour and fill a column in your heart with home.
6.Think of a happy childhood memory, turn it into a pretty pattern.
7.Now, think of a not-so-happy childhood memory, turn it into a not-so-pretty pattern.
8.What keeps you awake at night? What makes your heart tremble? Describe this fear in an animal sound.

9.Do you have a pet? Or did you? What colour represents the space they occupy in your heart?
10. Can you think of the face of that one person, one dream, one thing, you dearly miss? Leave some space empty for what you are missing.

11. What do you want to be when you grow up?! Put it down!
12. Fill in the blank in your heart… __________ puts the wind beneath my wings, pulls me up when I am down, makes me feel like maybe I am magic.
13. Tell a funny joke to each other. Did they laugh? How would you describe their laughter in a shape?
14. A little bit of jealousy is something we all keep hidden, somewhere deep, somewhere quiet. Let’s take a moment or two & acknowledge things/people that do make us jealous. Bring this feeling of envy out through some marks on your heart.
15. Is there something you love collecting? Something that is a part of your treasure trove, it might be silly for others but to you, it is something of unparalleled joy! Would you like to tell your partner about it? How would you like to put it on your heart?
16. Something you were really passionate about as a child, something you dreamt of becoming before adult life ruined it… like a Roadie, an Indian Idol, a Doctor? How do you feel thinking about it now? Express yourself in a colour.
17. There is this one nagging thing you can’t stand about yourself but also something that is always too difficult to let go. What is it? Take some help and embrace it by picking something from your partner’s basket and pasting it on your heart.

18. What according to you is your biggest achievement? Not necessarily a worldly definition of achievement or success, but something that is just yours. How would you like to show it?
19. What is the feeling of being by yourself? Who are you when no one is watching? Show it with some glitter!
20. How are you feeling now? Let it be known, in a language that is truly yours.
Images of the participants from the art experiment facilitated by me at The Art Ghar, Jaipur in April 2021
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