Flower is a noun and a verb.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)