Is this Art? Yes! Is this Therapy? Yes! It’s as cool as Art Therapy can be.
The Art Clinic Liverpool will be launching an online interactive Creative Arts Therapy website. La Vida Liverpool are the first to have a sneak preview of their Emotional Empowerment Programme resources on the site. Check out this ‘Abstract Realities’ video and read what Michelle Richards from the Art Clinic has to say about the inspiration behind it….
This workshop grew from thoughts about ‘labelling’ and ‘interpretation’. It’s about how we interpret art, how we interpret ourselves and how we interpret other people. At the end of the day there is no definitive right way to be. Just like there is no definitive measure of good art. It is what it is. We are what we are. We tend to imagine that we are not perfect, yet our perceived imperfections can be beautiful. I wanted to design a workshop that would ‘illustrate’ these thoughts.
The first time I ran this workshop I defined the uniform set of lines, that we see in the film, as a perfect image. I randomly gave the series of images out to the people in the workshop. In pairs they were given the instruction to advocate for the image that they were each given. It was really powerful. As people identified with the image they were given they spoke about them with such nurture and empathy. It was like all of our vulnerability was put out there to be defended. I then swapped their images and they may have had to advocate for an image that was opposite to the first one that they worked with. Some had to change perspective, see things from the other side as it were. The whole thing was so engaging and triggered the people in the group to have a lot of insights and self-realisation.I can sum the impact of this workshop up with a lovely quote by an artist called Peter Melik (taken from an Art Clinic project about Time): “I saw that someone had written on a pebble ‘Just Be’ so I wrote on another pebble ‘Be Just.’People are different and that’s ok — there is no definitive right way to be. The exercise encourages us to consider the abstract expectations that we place on ourselves. It asks us to maybe re-evaluate the reasons why we beat ourselves up when we fail to live up to these expectations. In reality each of us are all of those images and continually move between them. That’s what makes us human. The process of creation involves both chaos and order. We are creative beings. We are kinetic works of art in constant progress.