As part of our ongoing programme of art exhibitions here at the centre we thought it would be interesting to have an art exhibition of the various art therapists who work here. Art therapists and art psychotherapists usually come from an art background and many are artists in their own right, alongside their art therapy work – whereas other art therapists may have a background in design or illustration, film or fashion. When applying for the Masters in art therapy, prospective trainees are required to submit a portfolio of their own artwork and to reflect on the creative process. A large component of art therapy training takes place in an art studio where trainees are expected to develop their 2D and 3D creative work. This also includes learning a new visual literacy, versatility with different art materials and media, and new creative ways to express and share personal themes.
The artworks in art therapy can differ from the art of art school. In the old-fashioned art school, images that existed outside oneself were captured via observational drawings, photography, and careful still life studies. In art therapy, we are focusing on the images of our inner worlds. The inner worlds which are full of light and darkness; conflicts and entanglements; joy and love; fears and threats; humour and compassion; struggles and resolutions, and so on.
So what would an art exhibition of practicing art therapists be? Would it be an art exhibition of the artist-art therapist or merely the personal process work of the art therapist? Would it reveal the personal struggles or show-off the artistic talents or both?
For our visitors here at the London Art Therapy Centre – would it be disconcerting/ disappointing/ shocking to see the artwork of your therapist or supervisor or colleague? Perhaps you would be inspired/ relieved/ heartened? Perhaps now you think you know too much about the art therapist and feel unsettled by this new perception? So many possibles, just like therapy itself, stimulated by one idea, lets have an art exhibition here of our own work.
In curating this show some practitioners have shared more personal themes; others have seemingly revealed less of themselves but possibly more. There is no standard or topic, each person submitting what they feel they would like to share at the present time. What is certain is that these few images only represent a small selection of the wide range of artworks from the collective portfolios of everyone.
Please view the show in this regard and if anything perturbs you or you are curious about a piece, we encourage you to discuss this with one of the art therapists. In talking about art we can learn so much about ourselves.
Finally, if you are drawn to purchase any of the artworks, you will notice that some pieces are for sale and others are not. The London Art Therapy Centre has a bursary to fund low-cost art therapy and we have agreed 20% commission on any sales go directly and totally to the bursary fund.
We hope you find this show as stimulating and challenging as we do.
London Art Therapy Centre