Friday, September 26, 2008

Bindle Stick

Create a multicultural art project that explores your personal membership in various social profiles (gender, race, class, ability, sexual orientation, age and religion, as well as any others).
Time Limit: 2 weeks
Setting: made at home for presentation in class Power, Privilege and Oppression. Presentation was 10 min. long.

After my first draft (the painting previously discussed in prior post) I tried a performance piece. Still feeling that stereotypes were getting in the way, I decided to try to use unbiased objects that had nothing to do with the subject matter other than what I applied to them.

This began the process for the piece above. The top picture is me with the final object. My intent for this object was to make a "hobo bag", which I later learned is called a bindle stick. It is an anachronism, in that it is no longer a part of our everyday imagery, but a remnant of the past. This was perfect way to contain all of my social membership within. The following picture is of the objects within the bindle stick that represent my social membership profile (gender, race, class, ability, sexual orientation, age and religion). For each object I created an interpretation of my ideas behind these concept. And the photo on the bottom is a detail of the stick, which is actually 3 sticks bound by ribbon.

A quick list of what the objects represent in terms of my social membership profile:
green object - age
yellow object - religion
blue and white - gender
rust or brown object - class
multicolor object - ability
bl. & wh. decorative - race
reddish - sexual orientation

All of these pieces of me and my ideas can neatly be packed up into my bindle stick and taked anywhere I like. What a great metaphor for life.

Gender Piece

Create a multicultural art project that explores your personal membership in various social profiles (gender, race, class, ability, sexual orientation, age and religion, as well as any others).
Time Limit: 2 weeks
Setting: made at home for presentation in class Power, Privilege and Oppression

This piece was a first draft for this project. I struggled with the various different pieces that I had to consider, so for this piece I narrowed it down to just gender. While this may look like a female body part, that was not my original intention. I was aiming for an abstract female form. The following post will reveal the final version for this project, which looks nothing like this. The most difficult part of this assignment was to try to create images/objects that were not stereotypes of these concepts (gender, race, class, ability, sexual orientation, age and religion, as well as any others).

Unlikely Landscape

Create an artistic response to an article assigned for reading in class.
Time: one week notice
Setting: Made at home for Art Therapy class - Clinical Applications

I began by reading the articles and trying to decide what stood out for me. The articles to choice from were:
  1. "Using Art in Counseling: Ethical Considerations" by Hammond, L. and Gantt, L.
  2. "Confidentiality Reexamined: Negotiating Use of Art by Clients" by Susan Spaniol
  3. "Strugglingn for Power and Influence" by Kottler, J.
I decided to go with a quote from the last article, which was "growth occurs spontaneously." I think this is an important concept to remember as a therapist. This piece, made out of plaster, represents a landscape where growth occurs spontaneously.

I began the making of the piece by pouring plaster into a tofu container, then I threw in a few pieces of trash and wood. When dry, I pulled the piece out of the mold and painted it. I then added a seed and a real flower that I found to represent some of the growth.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Office Space

Directive: Create an image of your office space and what you would include in that space (does not have to be literal, can be qualities that you wish to bring into the office setting)
Time Limit: 15 min.
Setting: Classroom "Theories of Art Therapy"
Materials: oil pastels and paper

The art experience came was inspired by an article we read for this class (The Art Room as Container by Gilroy & McNeilly)
I began with the outer shapes, as I thought about softness and clouds, and how to make the client feel safe. I then added a stage for the clients to bring their work. Next I added a bookshelf as a holding space for wither artwork or feelings. Finally I defined the space in the middle and added clouds and 2 helping hands.

Some aspects that I tried to represent in my drawing as characteristics that I would bring to my office space as an art therapist are:
  • a holding space
  • a stage or platform for issues
  • Space in general
  • transparency (allowing the patient to know their treatment is progressing)
  • Boundaries
  • Softness or compassion
  • Helping hands (one that can aid the client in their own healing powers)

The Positives

Directive:Create an image that shows 3 strengths you will bring into your internship.
Time Limit: 30 min.
Setting: Classroom, Individual, Clinical Applications class

We had a variety of materials to choose from. I choose to work mostly with paper, creating a silhouette of myself, and added words at the end. The 3 strengths I choose for myself were: embracing the unknown, staying organized and connecting with others through my energy as a person.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Get a Handle on It.

Above is a photo of a response piece I made in August.

Create a response piece to the experience of Orientation.
Time Limit: 2 weeks
Setting: At home, individual, to be shared in class

Once again, I began with an object and created around that. I first found the handle that is located in the middle of the package. I then found the package and decided to assemble a product. Objects and products is a topic that I have made artwork about before as an artist. To make more of a product I decided that I needed to add a "pretty" element to it, so I added a background of flowers. As a final touch I wrote on the white poster board around the handle about the uses and instructions for this "product," some of which are funny and definitely metaphors for how I hope to navigate through the process of becoming an art therapist.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Arts Cafe Response piece

This piece of artwork was a response piece created during an Arts Cafe during my Orientation at Lesley University. There were no directions or limitations, other then it need to be ready to exhibit the following day.

I started by choosing my materials. I decided to limit them to a piece of poster board 24" x 24" and markers due to space constraints. I sat on the floor in the back of the room, which was set up with a stage for performers. I began thinking, but before I could get catch up in an idea music began. And then performers of poems, music and dance began. I thought about the body parts needed to perform and began tracing my legs and hands. Then I created a mouth and finger tips. Then patterns began emerging and filling up the forms. Finally I became too engaged and stopped this piece and was able to perform a haiku.

It's an incredible experience to be in a creative atmosphere surrounded by others creating. I find this truly inspiring, uplifting and freeing. I wonder how I will be able to create this environment for my clients and myself.

Balance Piece

Above is a picture of a mandala I created during Orientation for the graduate program in art therapy at Lesley.


Create an image of balance.
Time limit 30 min.
Setting: Outside up a large tent with other art therapists.

While this could of been accomplished many different ways I went with the trusted process of making a mandala. I have used mandala making with adolescent children and the process did seem to calm them down from my observations.

I began this process with 2 objects that I found: a piece of foam and a cup lid. Just as in I offend do in my regular art making, I like to begin with an object to make an object. Perhaps it is the sculpture in me. Next I decided I needed to define the outer circle, so I found a bucket, traced the large white circle and began assembling on top of it. Then came the smaller orange circle. Finally the found objects where put in the center and then the flower element cut out and glued on top.

The following day the group of art therapists were asked to perform in some way at the closing of orientation. As a group we choose to wear our artwork and lead the group back to a gallery area where more of our artwork was displayed. For this I added a string long enough to go around my neck and I wore my mandala.

Below is a group photo of all of the new art therapists coming in this year and our art "gallery" space.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Bird Skull

Above photo of an object I made in clay.

Create an object in clay that represents your feelings about being at Orientation
Time: 30 min. for clay, 10 min. for writing, 10min. for sharing
Setting: Outside in group setting with other art therapists

The process began with a guided meditation. We were encouraged to remain present and think about nature, our current environment and what it meant to be there at orientation. I remember hearing birds chirping while our professor lead us through the meditation portion. When that was over we were allowed to find aspace to create. I stayed in my seat for the first 15 min. and then ventured a bit further. I used water toward the end to help smooth out some areas.

After the 30 mins. were up we rejoined a group setting and were instructed to write about the experience. This intermodal transfer from scultping to writing was a great experience to explore some thoughts I had.

Lastly, we were allowed to comment on the process in a group setting facilitated by the professor.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Self Box

Above: Front of Self Box

Above: Back of Self Box

Above: Inside of Self Box

Above are three different views of my self box.

Create a Self Box. Refer to the article "Secrets, symbols, synthesis and safety: The role of boxes in art therapy" by Farrell-Kirk, R. (2001) in the American Journal of Art Therapy, issue 39 p. 88-92
Time Limit: an afternoon in class time and 1 day following.
Setting: Art Therapy Class (Practices and Principles of Art Therapy)

There are many ideas about boxes and even self boxes. For this one I considered the inside of the box as the inside of my body. The outside of the box as the exterior which is seen and represented to the world. On both sides of my box I choose to represent an archetype of an image that I think people often see me as. The front I choose to represent the way in which I represent myself to the world, while the back holds images and ideas that are actually mine and may not be shown to the world.