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Making a Scene in Public - Art Therapy as an Intervention of Possibility


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Pamela Whitaker & Maria Riccardi present the 2018 Canadian Art Therapy Association Conference - Keynote Presentation

Art therapy should be relevant to life where it happens — becoming an intervening event and a beacon of possibilities. Composing art from the materials of life and within environments of encounter. Being moved to cultivate surroundings that are both disruptive and restorative, as an antidote to disillusionment and indifference. This is a presentation about art therapy getting out more. Becoming more public and extending the profession’s repertoire of actions. Art therapy can contribute to environments and generate habitats where people spend time together in distinctive ways. The outdoor studio is a place where anything can happen.

Through a poetic conversation with Pamela Whitaker, we have reflected on the place of an art studio in art therapeutic endeavours. The images crafted are made from a diversity of media such as natural treasures and convey simplicity and possibilities. Like a ritual, on the studios of life, where we convene day after day, to paint, draw, sculpt, model, unearth, assemble, and paste on, we breathe. The therapeutic studio is created with the same care an artist uses to enlighten an art installation. It stems from the images within and then finds nourishment in the artwork created. This presentation stems from transitional and indoor studios inspired by the outdoor studios reinvented by Pamela. A conversation that took place in the garden and will continue to blossom at the CATA conference.

Pamela Whitaker PhD, MA, BA, DVATI is an art therapist living in Ireland who practices under the name of Groundswell, a social enterprise working in the areas of art therapy, art and participation, and arts and health. As editor of the CATA Journal she has curated special issues on the topics of environment, visual culture, and political responses though art therapy.

Maria Riccardi MA, MEd, ATR-BC is a registered art therapist, a career counsellor, and a licensed clinical psychotherapist. She is an adjunct professor of art therapy at Concordia University and at l’Université du Québec in Abitibi-Témiscamingue. She collaborates with local non-profit organizations and mental health institutions, developing community-based art studio programs for adolescents and adults who are marginalized. She has expertise with veterans living with combat-related post-traumatic stress disorder, and has founded a clinic in Montreal based on the Expressive Therapies Continuum working with children and families.

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Making a Scene in Public - Art Therapy as an Intervention of Possibility

  1. 1. Making a Scene in Public Mettre en œuvre une scène publique
  2. 2. J’ai décidé de construire un abri entre le savoir et l’art. I decided to build a shelter between knowledge and art.
  3. 3. Art therapists need to get out more. Les art-thérapeutes ont besoin de sortir de leur studio.
  4. 4. Un endroit pour vivre plutôt que de fuir; mon esprit est dissipé. A place to live, rather than escape. My mind is swept away. Art à La Ruche d’Art St. Henri
  5. 5. Art is alive in unusual places. L'art est vivant dans les lieux insolites.
  6. 6. Je suis une femme qui a marché inlassablement à travers les collines. I am a woman who has walked time and time again in the course of the hill. Art:Women of the Hill by Hanna Tuulikki
  7. 7. A studio found and assembled for oneself and others. A studio in the moment. Un studio est découvert et assemblé pour soi et pour les autres. Le studio se vit dans l’instant présent.
  8. 8. Quand j’ai commencé à habiter l’identité d’art-thérapeute, j’ai reconnu que ce métier allait changer ma vie. When I started living as an art therapist, I recognized this profession would change my life.
  9. 9. Serving others through new repertoire and actions. Servir la communauté à travers un nouveau répertoire et de nouvelles actions.
  10. 10. J’ai accueilli sa texture, souligné ses fissures, estimé son malaise et transporté son écorce dans mon atelier. I had to embrace the wooden texture, underline the fissures, weigh the hurt and carry the sliver of tree to my studio. Art: Maria Riccardi
  11. 11. We lose our way but find new places of artistry in the nature of our surroundings. Nous perdons nos repères, mais trouvons de nouveaux lieux artistiques dans la nature de notre environnement.
  12. 12. Les échos d'un enfant courent en moi. Empreintes de poussières, pieds d’argile, recueils de poussières. Echoes of a child running inside of me. Steps of dust, feet of clay, dust to pray. .
  13. 13. For the want of something more, interrupt disbelief. Pour le désir de quelque chose de plus; l'incrédulité interrompue.
  14. 14. Les sources des images sont les métaphores qui m’habitent. The sources of images are the metaphors I withhold. Artwork: La Ruche d’Art St. Henri
  15. 15. We live with loss. We want acknowledgement, to be given to. Nous vivons dans le deuil. Nous voulons la reconnaissance, celle qui s’octroie.
  16. 16. Je respire dans des studios divergents: espaces communautaires et terrains gigantesques. I breathe in dissimilar studios, a homeland and a gigantic soil.
  17. 17. Interventions in everyday life, art therapy as a happening. Interventions au quotidien. L’art-thérapie devient un événement.
  18. 18. Je me suis enfuie, l’habitat est la terre. I ran away, home is the land. Art:AnnaDosSantos(left)FaranYehuda(right)
  19. 19. Out of order. The art of protest. Hors service. L'art de protester. Photo Credit: ArtTherapy for Human Rights
  20. 20. Le studio thérapeutique est créé avec le même soin qu’un artiste utilise pour concevoir une installation artistique. The therapeutic studio is created with the same care an artist uses to enlighten an art installation. Art: La Ruche d’Art St. Henri
  21. 21. Art therapy offering antidotes to disillusionment in the midst of civic life. Art out loud. L'art-thérapie offre des antidotes aux désillusions centrales de la vie civile. L’art à haute voix.
  22. 22. Contempler ma réflexion est pénible étant ancrée dans mon existence. Gazing into my reflection is challenging, entrenched in my existence. Art: La Ruche d’Art St. Henri (left) Susan Spyker and the art of her mother (right)
  23. 23. Public relations, promoting acts of goodwill. Are you moved to act? Les relations publiques provoquent des actions humanitaires. Êtes-vous émus pour agir? Artist: Will St LegerArt:Will St Leger (left) andThe Men’s Shed Film, Ireland (right)
  24. 24. J’imagine mon studio intérieur comme un espace respiratoire, un habitat. I envision my inner studio as a breathing space, a home. Art: La Ruche d’Art St. Henri (right
  25. 25. Unearth accumulation. The surroundings of art therapy are the starting point. Déterrer l'accumulation. Les environs de l'art-thérapie sont le point de départ.
  26. 26. Jour après jour, j’apporte dans le studio ma passion, mes peurs, mes rêvés et mes espoirs. Day after day, I bring to the studio my passion, fears, dreams and hopes for the future. Art: Maria Riccardi Photograph: Santoshi Robertson-Davis
  27. 27. The outdoor studio, a gathering place of possibility and opportunity. Le studio extérieur est un lieu de rassemblement, de possibilités et d'opportunités. Art: Blackrock Park Art Hive, Ireland
  28. 28. L'action de créer engage la personne sur des chemins divers qui seront parcourus et altérés. The act of creating engages the person on diverse paths that will be walked over and altered.
  29. 29. Art from the materials of life. In the midst of surroundings, a habitat. Art naissant des matériaux de la vie. Au milieu des alentours, un habitat.
  30. 30. En regardant les images, des métaphores surgissent comme des chagrins qui s’éveillent. Looking at images, metaphors arise like awakened sorrows. Photograph by Santoshi Robertson Davis Photograph by Nicola Shaw
  31. 31. Art for the people. Art pour les gens. Photo: AnTain Arts Centre (Ireland), Men’s Shed Graffitti
  32. 32. Une personne arrive avec une histoire à dévoiler. A person comes with a story to unfold. Art: by Nicola Sherwin-Roller
  33. 33. Art: Santoshi Roberston-Davis (left) Student, Canadian International Institute of ArtTherapy (right) The choreography of objects. Making arrangements. La chorégraphie des objets. Prendre des dispositions.
  34. 34. Je ne peux pas rattraper mes mots, mais l’image tangible devient un vaisseau guidant une mémoire. I cannot reach my words, but the image is tangible and becomes a vessel driving a memory. Photograph by Nicola Shaw (left)
  35. 35. Refreshment for the spirit, a surprise encounter with the taken for granted. Rafraîchissement pour l'esprit, une rencontre surprise avec ce qui est tenu pour acquis.
  36. 36. J’applaudis un monde d’influences amalgamées. I applaud a world of entangled influences. Art: La Ruche d’Art St. Henri
  37. 37. A milestone in moments. A contemplation. Putting oneself in motion. Un jalon momentané. Une contemplation. Se mettre en mouvement. Photograph by Nicola Shaw (right)
  38. 38. Il est important que l’art-thérapeute contemple chaque caillou sur lequel le client a trébuché. It is significant for the art therapist to look at each pebble the client has stumbled on. Photograph: Nicola Shaw
  39. 39. Art: Myria Rei Solas Marking territory, making a scene, ecologies of production assembling possibility. Marquer un territoire, meubler une scène; productions écologiques, possibilités d’assemblage.
  40. 40. Je m’agite par les silences entre les mots. I become stirred by the voids between the words. Art: La Ruche d’Art St. Henri
  41. 41. Photograph by Nicola Shaw An outsider artist, reaching out. An evocation inviting contact. Un artiste singulier; tendre la main. Une évocation invitant le contact.
  42. 42. Art: Susan Spyker (left) Photograph: Nicola Shaw (right) Aminée par nos sens, l’exploration des médias naturels donne naissance à la spontanéité de l'enfant. Pays Sage. Engaged by our senses, play and exploration with the natural media can bring to life the spontaneity of the child. Land Escape.
  43. 43. Art therapy out of bounds. Art-thérapie hors limites.