Gratitude in Freedom
and in Bondage

In the month of Nissan, particularly during the Passover holiday, we are asked to contemplate our past and the way it is reflected in our present through two very different words: bondage and freedom. It is through these words that we will explore our connections to gratitude and the ways it manifests when we feel both bound and free. 

Our partner artists at In[HEIR]itance Project teach us that there are many ways that creativity allows us to process, reflect, and respond to complicated ideas. In this activity, they invite us to dive into the complexities of the words “bondage” and “freedom” through an easy-to-follow process, using our creativity as our guide and resulting in our own homemade piece of art.

Get Inspired

Before we contemplate bondage and freedom, let’s look for some inspiration. As you can see in the video below, In[HEIR]itance Project co-founding artist Ariel Warmflash was inspired by two starkly different words in the question, “What has been fractured and what has been mended?” 

First, she explored the words themselves, fracture (to break) and mend (to fix), to see how they were connected and how they differed. She then cut out and rearranged words from magazines to express her response to the question and explore the idea through form and content. 

Consider the Words

Instead of “fracture” and “mend,” we have the opportunity this month to focus on the words “bound” and “free.” Take some time to write down your thoughts on the following questions:

  • In what ways are we bound? 
  • In what ways are we free?
  • How do we support others in feeling free?
  • How do we help each other release ourselves from being bound?



Now, make a list of words that feel related to “bound” and “free.” What do these words mean? What do they make you think about? What do they make you feel? 

Use these words to inspire your own new design or piece of art. You don’t have to come up with the raw material for your art on your own: you can cut words and images out of magazines and newspapers, find examples of these ideas online, find objects around you that resemble these ideas, or recreate things that already inspire you. Remember, there is no “correct” way to do this activity! Follow your own instincts to create what feels right to you.

If you’d like an example to spark your creativity, here’s what Ariel’s original pieces looked like:


As you create your own original piece of art, consider these questions:

  • What is a freedom that you feel grateful for? 
  • Is it possible to experience gratitude in moments of being bound? How?
  • How can you express your gratitude in your art?
  • How else can you share your gratitude with the world?



This project is one of many in The In[HEIR]itance Project’s CYCLES: Revelations, an international online art project made up of creative assignments and online events for people to reflect and respond to the world as it has been since March 2020. To get involved or see more responses, visit us online at

We are grateful to the In[HEIR]itance Project,
especially co-founding artist Ariel Warmflash, for contributing this activity.