Flower Beyond the Edge

Flower is a noun and a verb.

Flower Beyond Edge Sally Swain

Flower Beyond the Edge
Sally Swain © original art

The paintage (paint plus collage) arose in response to concern about

an Art and Soul client’s anxiety. I wished to deepen my understanding of the client and of our therapeutic relationship.

Flower Beyond Edge Sally Swain

Flower Beyond the Edge
Sally Swain
play-in-progress

I consciously chose materials that the client employs, such as purple tissue paper. Soon I was immersed in the ‘Art of Emergence’. I trusted that my creative process and the artwork would yield insight.

Flower Beyond Edge Sally Swain

Flower Beyond the Edge
Sally Swain play-in-progress 2

After a flurry of tearing, glueing, composing, painting, I stepped back from the paintage. I saw a sun and other ill-defined images. I resumed close-up art-making, trying to discern and strengthen forms. A murky phase of frustration ensued. I stepped back again to witness the picture.

I paused, breathed and softened my gaze.

In an Aha moment, I realised that this picture was part of a larger whole. I saw a flower segment that implicitly extended beyond the frame.

I needed to trust that this art piece, my creative process, the client, the client’s creative process, our therapeutic alliance are all interconnected; and that the effects of the art therapeutic work continue beyond our small, safe container.

Flower Beyond Edge Sally Swain

Flower Beyond the Edge
Sally Swain
play-in-progress 3

Flower Beyond the Edge Sally Swain play-in-progress 4

Flower Beyond the Edge
Sally Swain
play-in-progress 4

My concerns about the client lifted.

As Irvin D. Yalom says,

in ‘Creatures of a Day and Other Tales of Psychotherapy’ (Basic Books, 2015)

‘Now, the one thing I’ve come to know with certainty is that if I can create a genuine and caring environment, my patients will find the help they need, often in marvelous ways I could never have predicted or even imagined.’

 

PS Flower Beyond the Edge is currently appearing in the following Art Therapy exhibition.

PPS If this blog post is a tad more formal than usual, it’s because it’s my artist statement for the exhibition.

PPPS Please feel free to share your valued responses to any of this. Comments boxes below.

 

Art Therapists on Art Therapy exhibition Chrissie Cotter Gallery Camperdown, Sydney opens Wednesday 12th October, 2016

Art Therapists on Art Therapy exhibition
Chrissie Cotter Gallery
Camperdown, Sydney
opens Wednesday 12th October, 2016

One more thing. I guess it’s a PPPPS:

Let’s sing the praises of the wonderful work of art therapy around the world!
Check this out!!!
Art Therapy – the Movie (trailer)

Flower Beyond Edge Sally Swain

Flower Beyond the Edge
Sally Swain © original art

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4 thoughts on “Flower Beyond the Edge

    • Hi lovely Kerry
      So good to hear from you! And you have a pal exhibiting. Howz about that?
      I am sitting in the gallery this Sunday 11am to 2pm. It’d be great to see you there if the timing is right for you.
      warmly, Sally

      Like

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