This project was originally established in 2015 during my Bodyworks solo exhibition and residency at Bankley Studio & Gallery in Manchester.
Several years ago, I completed an Introduction to the Profession of Art Therapy with the British Association of Art Therapists. Art therapy is a form of psychotherapy in which making images and objects plays a central role. The essence of art therapy lies in the relationship between art and therapy. As such, art therapy involves both the process and the products of imaginative activity and the provision of a safe environment within which it is possible for individuals to discover, explore and share the meaning their images or objects may have for them.
During the course, I was able to experience and participate in many creative and reflective activities art therapists utilise in their practice. The course was enlightening and I was interested in placing this experience in the context of my own practice in the form of a specific project.
Subsequently, I established a personal project which incorporated text, stitch and dye in order to create a series of works which embody the space between drawing, textiles and sculpture.
Earlier in the year, I was invited to develop a series of works to be photographed and published in a forthcoming book exploring the theme of art and medicine. The author has selected certain artists to submit works which reflect upon how creativity can assist an individual in recovering from a period of physical or mental ill health.
This commission offered a renewed focus for the project and resulted in three new sculptural textile pieces, 40 Hands, 40 Headsand Me & My Shadow.