Art Therapy

Art therapy involves the use of painting , drawing and other art forms in a therapeutic setting. The symbolic quality of art imagery is highly conducive to the exploration of ideas, feelings and issues evoked by the creative process. The process of art therapy aids healing by providing a channel for expressing heretofore hidden thoughts and feelings. Though clients learn to master art techniques and may well develop a high level of competence in art, knowledge of art or art skills are absolutely not required to participate in art therapy.  The art therapist, on the other will have a thorough knowledge of the art making process and fully understand the complex link between materials, media and expressive forms in a psychotherapeutic context. Art provides the framework for the organisation of complex thoughts and feelings from early life to the present day. This includes  polarities of love and hate, good and bad, closeness and distance, inclusion and exclusion etc.To cope with the subtlety of the process and the vulnerability of the  client the art therapist needs to  develop insight and caring and be able to instill trust.

The process  of art therapy  allows the  client to
- recognise feelings previously unacknowledged
- express or release a variety of feelings
- state ideas and thoughts no matter how disconnected
- gradually develop a sense of competency
- move towards mastery of some feelings
- work through symbols and metaphors (  for example a collision of cars at an
  could  represent the collision of powerful forces in the clients life)

 VISUAL & COMPOSTIONAL  ELEMENTS  of psychological organisation
As the famous English  philospher-mathematician Alfred North Whithead put it, "The canons of art are none other than the requisites  of depth experience" .  Elements of art run parallel with the language of our emotional life : Color , Space, ,  Line/Direction,  Texture(Smooth,Rough), Closed/Open   Static/Dynamic  Soft/Hard. Thin/Thick   Tentative/Bold   Tender/Tough  Free/Rigid  Clarity/AmbiguityUpwards/Downwards   Dark/Light   Transparent/Opaque. Every element at work in any image has a feeling associated with it .

"Landscape of the Dragon " or
 This is an article  based on a talk given to the the World Education Fellowship,
Waverley City Gallery, Victoria. The title of the talk was    Landscape of the Dragon
(includes how Colour, Shapes, Lines etc  work )

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