Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Dissertation Proposal - Draft 1 - Bibliography

Adamson, E., (1984), Art as Healing, London, Coventure Ltd.

“Art as Healing” explores the relationship between art practices such as painting, sculpture and sketching and the psychological effects that these have on young children, the mentally ill and the most vulnerable members of our society.

Bremner J., Dean J., McCoig M., Skinner, K., (2005), Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital: Arts Project, Aberdeen, PACE

This colourful publication illustrates the story of the refurbishment of the Children’s Hospital in Aberdeen. Some wonderful examples of architecture and design were used in that project along side art work provided by Scottish Fine Artists. The book demonstrates the kind of environment that inspires and encourages patients to stay positive and get better.

Farrelly – Hansen, M., (2001), Spirituality and Art Therapy: Living the Connection, London, Jessica Kingsley Publishers

Avery interesting take on Art Therapy is explored in this book, the author describes many incidents were the use of Art Therapy was priceless but the fact that is was connoted to a particular religion was essential. This shows a “shamanistic” view on the discipline which contradicts all the most of the other books I read, which treat Art Therapy almost as rigorously as if it was a science subject.

Furth, G. M., (1988), The secret world of drawings: a Jungian approach to healing through art, Boston, Sigo Press

Gregg Furth's book is a complex study of spontaneous drawings created by a wide spectrum of patients, from young terminally ill children, their parents and families to troubled adolescents, prisoners, the disabled and the elderly.

Gordon A. M., Browne K. W., (2007) Beginnings & Beyond: Foundations in Early Childhood

An effective book which considers all things important when growing up. It explores different relationships and the way’s a child is starting to form their opinion of the word around. A big section on learning new skills and how creativity develops from a very young age.

Gordon P.,
Szreter R., (1989), History of Education: The Making of a Discipline, Oxon, Routledge

Great source of information on how education actually started and how it has developed to the stage it is on at the moment. Many valuable stories and facts written up in a clear and understandable language to promote a further research into the field. An essential read.

Malchiodi, C. A., (1999), Medical Art Therapy with Children, London, Jessica Kingsley Publishers Ltd.

Malchiodi focuses on using art as a means of communication between seriously ill children undergoing aggressive medical treatment and the professionals working with them. It helps to use and translate the language of drawings into our day to day verbal communication.

MacLeman, M., Pearson, J., (2008), The Pattern of a Bird, Glasgow, Art in Hospital

This beautiful book tells the stories of a hospice’s patients and their adventures with Art and Poetry. It shows how important art making or the creative process, as a whole is, in relation to situations of deep despair such as terminal illness. A truly inspiring publication.

The American take on Art Therapy. This will enable me to look into the differences between the practises of this discipline in the two countries. Which one is more effective, works more efficiently and create a safer environment for the patient? These questions will definitely be addressed in one of the parts of my presentation.

Another professional web page focusing on the use of Art Therapy within the UK. Many interesting events and facts are discussed on the forums. This will be really useful of finding information out about potential contacts and people to interview.

The National Society for Education in Art and Design’s official website. General information for art and design teachers and those interested in this path. This web page has many sections including a primary education one, with articles I will most probably find invaluable in to further my knowledge of the field.

A fantastic website for a valuable information concerning Art Therapies. It looks at Music, Drama and Dance as well as Art Therapies. Many useful links to other web pages of different organisations can be found. What is even more exiting there is a forum filled with suggestions about upcoming events relation to this discipline.

Dissertation Proposal - Draft 1.

Heal my body, heal my mind.

Early education, Art Therapy and Design.

Education is what I always found fascinating and recently while researching it further, I discovered many links and interactions between Design as a whole and its connections to specific educational methods and techniques.

While, still at the most basic stage of my research, I came across one other discipline which seemed to connote to these two hugely – Art Therapy. I decided to go down that route and to familiarise myself with the available resources, primarily books and journals.

After a few weeks of looking into Art Therapy in relation to several psychological issues, I most definitely decided to explore Art Therapy with children in particular and more precisely, kids with serious medical conditions, after traumas or undergoing hospitalisation.

Continuously, trying to broaden my horizons, I took an interest into hospital and hospice design. The interior design of such institutions is crucial as well as the Design Idea behind it, the concept of a more child friendly and, in fact, a more art friendly environment.

I ask myself, whether or not, us as Designers should be more curious about the well being of our consumers and could dare to “heal” faulty designs within the educational and the health care systems.

Furthermore, I wish to investigate if introducing art therapy in primary and secondary schools could not be the answer to aggression, racism, bullying, homophobia and sectarianism.

I cannot wait to arrange some primary research opportunities, possibly in both schools and hospitals, to gather more firsthand information.

My aim is bring the benefits of art therapy to the attention of Designers and to encourage more inter-specialisation collaborations.

This subject is not related to my studio work directly as of yet, although the flow of ideas could most possibly inspire my Degree Show theme, which I am hoping will eventually happen.

The people I believe would benefit from my work are children and parents undergoing medical treatment, teaching and medical staff, fellow designers and architects.

Furthermore, I might look into going down that career path myself and feel I need to explore it further when I have an opportunity to do so.

1. A full review of literature and Internet sources on the subject of Art Therapy with children.

2. Full reviews of local authorities take on Art Therapy and Art Therapists offices in Dundee and Scotland – interviews.

3. Interviews with school children, art and care teachers and school psychologists.

4. Interviews with GPs, paediatricians, hospital and hospice staff members and patients.

5. Interviews with fellow designers and architects, especially interior and environmental.

6. Art and design experiments with school children and kids at the hospital/hospice.

7. Questioners of awareness about Art Therapy practice to all above.

Art, Therapy, Children, Education, Elementary, Hospital, Interior, Design.

Bibliography - Assignment 4

Adamson, E., (1984), Art as Healing, London, Coventure Ltd.

Furth, G. M., (1988), The secret world of drawings: a Jungian approach to healing through art, Boston, Sigo Press

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Assignment 4 - Summary 2

Gregg M. Furth - "The Secret World Of Drawings: A Jungian Approach To Healing Through Art".

Gregg Furth's book is a complex study of spontaneous drawings created by a wide spectrum of patients, from young terminally ill children, their parents and families to troubled adolescents, prisoners, the disabled and the elderly.

One of the key questions that the author asks and eventually succeeds in answering is whether or not art as a creative process has the power to heal a hurt subconscious mind. The author had studied at the Jung Institute in Zurich and follows a route known in modern psychotherapy as Jungian Psychology. The crucial point of this belief, in connection to art therapy is that, it can be used to cure and help to re-establish one’s confidence after a traumatic event or a period of acute distress. The author of the theory himself, Carl Jung, practiced art therapy in his own life, in times of stress or despair and he believed that it was more than solely recreational.

The writer looks into a number of studies in the book, during which he deeply analyses the patient’s drawings or other means of art, his condition and further medical evidence. Furthermore, the subject of dream analysis is mentioned throughout the book as it is closely related to the subconscious symbolism expressed through spontaneous drawings. As an example, Furth explores a case study of a young, terminally ill boy, age 5. He looks into a drawing given to him by the mother, without a clue about the author of that drawing. After a period of analysis, Furth manages to uncover some key facts about the patient which are rather shocking having said he did not receive any information about who the patient was. During the consultation with the boy’s mother, the therapist uncovers the truth and delivers a deeply meaningful explanation of the boy’s thoughts and feelings during the process of creation of the drawing relation to the terminal illness.

Other aspect of the book that I find truly helpful is the author’s analysis of his time spent in Jamaica as a Peace Corps volunteer, during which he takes the position of a primary school teacher. That time was very influential for the author mainly because of two aspects. Firstly, the fact that he discovered a relationship between a child’s ability to draw, in order to develop hand to eye coordination skill and also the relationship between the act of creating and the possibility of expressing inner emotions through it. Secondly, during that time Furth befriended an old man, who was trying to prepare to pass away, knowing there was still a number of unfinished business he had to take care of before dying. Later on in his career, the writer managed to connect both of these experiences from his time in Jamaica to develop a deep understanding of the needs and wants of terminally ill children.

Overall, I found this book painfully fascinating and truly reassuring as it proved to examine many aspects of art therapy that interest me. It is so much more than just a guide to analysing drawings of the patients concerned, it explores the core reason behind art therapy as a whole, its benefits, its faults and the importance of practicing this method of psychotherapy whenever possible.

Assignment 4 - The Summaries

I decided to look into the field of Art Therapy for my dissertation proposal. I am hoping to relate it to Education as a whole and highlight it's role in a young child's creative development.

The books I have found most helpful so far are : "Art As Healing" by Edward Adamson and "The Secret World Of Drawings: A Jungian Approach To Healing Through Art" by Gregg M. Furth.

Both of my summaries found below inspired me to look into my area of interest even further. I found deepening my knowledge of Art Therapy truly fascinating and I feel positively inspired and exited about my dissertation proposal which, for the time being, is in a draft form.

Both of the publications I used for the summaries below are books, this is mostly because I felt I needed to read more than just an article about my subject, considering how wide it is. I did read articles on my subject as well as books, yet I do not consider any of them sufficient at this level.

Edward Adamson - "Art As Healing".

“Art as Healing” explores the relationship between art practices such as painting, sculpture and sketching and the psychological effects that these have on young children, the mentally ill and the most vulnerable members of our society.

The author, Edward Adamson as an artist himself, challenges us to reconsider what therapy really is and how to use it in order to help to bring out some of the most shameful and difficult thoughts out to then deal with these through psychotherapy. The writer studies many examples from his work experience of over 37 years at the Hospital for mentally ill – Netherne Hospital.

The most vital part of the book is the exploration of numerous examples of drawings, paintings and sculptures that are visual examples of how art therapy affects individuals and how certain symbols being repeated throughout the whole field. Some other important aspects of this publication are: firstly, the layout of mental hospitals and similar institutions which is mentioned a number of times. Secondly, preventive art therapy is explored in the last chapter if the book and it relates to activities for troubled school students and people exposed to stressful and traumatic events at that particular point in their life.

When it comes to the author’s key sources and influences, primarily, it is his almost life time of work as the Art Director at the Netherne Hospital for the mentally ill. From that time, there are many studies made that the author included in the book. A few of these are, for example, explorations of symbolism and the hospital environment as well as particular art techniques used by the patients and their relevance in the recovery process. Furthermore, the writer has a private practice in his own studio in Chelsea and is a curator of a new art gallery near Cambridge which focuses on the works of his art therapy patients.

The most important conclusions the author reaches are how effective non-invasive treatment such as art therapy is in relation to mental illnesses and patients who are most vulnerable to post traumatic stress disorder and personality disorders. Another very important conclusion of the book is how important Art and Design as a school subject is. It is well know that in primary school all pupils are encouraged to participate in creative classes, however as soon as a transition to secondary education is made all efforts to develop the creative side of student’s personally are almost abandoned in order to focus all the attention on so called “real” subjects like Maths, Science or English. The implications of this could be tremendously severe as anger and frustration without a means of being expressed say stored in one’s subconscious waiting for a climax moment of outburst.

As a whole, I found this book truly helpful in gaining a better understanding of the subject of Art Therapy as a whole. Moreover, I appreciate the fact that the relevance of teaching art was mentioned and discussed, which is of great interest to myself. I am certain that in the near future, I will be delighted to look into this publication again to support some of my own views and conclusions.

Ela Bauer

The Research Project is going very well so I thought, I'd post a few bits and pieces about my Jewellery Designer.

Ela Bauer is a jewellery designer based in the Netherlands. Initially, she studied Literature and Indology at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. After that she got into the jewellery department at the Technical School in Jerusalem. Her next move was to join the Gerrit Rietveld Academy of fine arts in Amsterdam.

She Graduated in July 1995 at the jewellery department. Since then she's been really busy participating in many diverse projects and exhibitions.

Bauer's work is really organic and at times rather literal. One of the things I admire most about it is the fact that Ela is not afraid to shock her audience as her pieces often relate to slightly unusual sources of inspiration, especially considering that Jewellery is still primarily seen as adornment of the body. I think Bauer is trying to challenge that perception and reinvent some aspects of our specialisation.

I added a few examples of my designer's work; these are most probably my favourite ones so far!

Assignment 3 and Art Therapy

Just a little note to say how exited I am about my dissertation topic and how fantastic the books I managed to find are!

I am still waiting on a few vital books that I have requested and shouldn't take too long to arrive. Also there is a fair amount of articles that could potentially be rather helpful in further research, a few weeks down the line. So far I have not found any that were directly related to the angle I am looking at my topic, art therapy.

Our group meeting that was held a few weeks ago for Assignment 3 has also helped, as it was clear that all of us needed some further discussion about the dissertation topics and areas of interest. The mind map I made initially did not need much alteration although I decided to construct another one anyway. It will be posted up tomorrow after my meeting with an advisor from dyslexia services. The meeting tomorrow concerns proof reading for my dissertation proposal and some further help and advise in relation to Design Studies and my studio Research Project.

Lastly, I have to admit, I am very exited to hopefully have my tutorial with my group soon. We are awaiting an email from our tutor and wish to wait no longer in order to finally get some advise on specific areas of our research and relevant questions relating to our area of interest for the much discussed dissertation proposal.