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Rhiannon Armstrong (www.rhiannonarmstrong.net) is a performance artist, who recently facilitated public self-care experiences for participants at the Dublin Live Art Festival, 2017.

“After three years of being invisibly disabled with chronic migraine – a condition that forced Rhiannon to wear sunglasses indoors, or lie down in the street, Public Selfcare System is a work in which Rhiannon self-identifies as an expert at the durational performance of thriving in a world that is geared against her survival. Public Selfcare System is a one-to-one performance, part direct action, part masterclass in the radical act of stopping.” (Dublin Live Art Festival 2017, Public Selfcare System Information Flyer)

“I am an expert in resting in public thanks to a neurological condition that forces me to lie down wherever I happen to be, and stay there until I am well enough to get up again. In order to carry on living we may all have to learn to stop in the middle of the street, in the middle of the day, and rest. Get ahead of the curve, get your training in now.” (Rhiannon Armstrong)

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Photo: http://www.rhiannonarmstrong.net

Taking time to stop and lie down on the stone pavement of a public thoroughfare, an interlude of rejuvenation for myself and participants in the performance of Public Selfcare. Each person is held with reassuring words and the touch of Rhiannon’s hand. The public element is forgotten within the space of two people being together on the ground, equals taking a breather from activity. This is a performance of empathy, solidarity and companionship. The simplicity of a time-out amidst the activeness of daily life. The art of just being there, together and then alone within the occupation of space and self. A performance of responsibility, a gift to passersby who see what’s not happening, who are perhaps reminded to approach the stillness within themselves. What I take lying down is confirmation of my right to be inattentive.

“Come with me to a place you may have seen, walked past, but never been to. We are going to lie down and have a rest: I will look out for you and look after you. You have right to be here, you have a right to do this. We can do it together.” (Rhiannon Armstrong)

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Photo: www.rhiannonarmstrong.net

dublin live art festival

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Header Image: Carolee Schneemann, Water Light/Water Needle (Lake Mah Wah, NJ) I, 1966, silver gelatin print, 18 × 24 cm, Hales Gallery, London

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Carolee Schneeman: Kinetic Painting, Museum der Moderne, Salzburg

Carolee Schneeman’s experiments with flesh as material contributes to the idea that movement events can be part of art therapy. Her mark making body in motion, imprints flesh upon the surfaces of the world with vigour and intensity.  And while Schneeman is know for her intimate explorations of the female body, her paintings and performance pieces inspire foremost the abandonment of regimented forms and conditionings. Her flow of desire is ultimately a remedy for apathy and lethargy.

Schneeman’s paintings, assemblages and performances engage risk across a broad canvas of physical experience. Her career highlights how oppression sinks under the skin evoking conformity, and how art can liberate the body’s enunciation.

The history of her work is characterised by research into archaic visual traditions, pleasure wrested from suppressive taboos, the body of the artist in dynamic relationship with the social body. (New York Public Library, Book Launch Promotion for Carolee Schneemann: Kinetic Painting)

Art therapy can offer a space for transformative action, a strategy for physical chaos and movements beyond social conformity. The potential to use an art therapy studio as a horizon of opportunity, to work beyond the confines of a table, is a chance to interrogate embodied presence and an energetic craving for life. The body’s changing multiplicity implicates identity pushing it forward into new dimensions of representation. Travelling through spaces with an instinctive wrestling, becoming entirely responsive to environment and its materials of expression, creates an art therapy approach dedicated to live art and physical authenticity.

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Why is dance important to art therapy? Dance represents flexibility and flux, a deviation from language and fixed terms of reference. The body moves desire in a visible and amplified way. The dancer’s body invites us to imagine new positions and new courses of action. The dancer and witness are immersed together in a collaborative relationship. They move each other along and disseminate the nature of what is ephemeral. Ultimately this is about the unfixed nature of meaning and representation. The body in motion is an essential part of art therapy, and it is the primary material of art making. Space can be sculpted and animated with effort qualities that choreograph intention and direct action. To observe the physicality of art therapy is to pay close attention to the way the body moves within a given environment. Somatic reckoning permeates art therapy space, it is an inherent element of creative production.

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A performance at the Dublin Dance Festival called Bodies in Urban Spaces showcased a form of physical sculpture that offers a new perspective on ways to inhabit urban streetscapes. Choreographed by Austrian based dance artist Willi Dorner,  it involves a group of dancers reshaping city footpaths and architectural locations. The ‘audience’ follows the dancers through a journey of embodiment. Collectively new areas of experience are discovered, as each person (both dancer and onlooker) insert themselves into urban territories in a mutually evocative way.

These places are part of our everyday experience, so instead of having to go somewhere removed from daily life to see dance, I think it can have quite an impact for dance to transform everyday landscapes (Rionach Ni Neill, Galway Dancer in Residence, Ireland).

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For art therapy Bodies in Urban Spaces re-imagines our own field of expression to include physical performance and architectural design. Such a performance takes art therapists outside themselves, it invites the witnessing of kinesthetic reasoning as it moves through the built environment. The relevance to art therapy is how an individual sculpts space physically, the environment impacts the body and expression, and it collaborates within the art therapy process. Being able to relate to context, rather than art materials laid out on a table, is a vital goal for the art therapy participant seeking to go beyond limiting frames of reference.

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All Photos, Bodies in Urban Dance Spaces, Dublin Dance Festival

References

Mary Kate Connolly, “Dancing Beyond Words” Booklet produced by Dance Ireland.

Michael Seaver, “Smart Move: Dance Gets Intellectual in Galway,” The Irish Times, Wednesday, March 26, 2014.

 

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Photo: Tino Sehgal, Outside the Tate Modern, London

The artwork started to emerge. I started to see how the performers inhabited the space, telling a narrative of sorts. They seemed to be conducting a commentary on a progress of being human. Not progress in technological terms, just a simple progress of bodies moving in time and space, a progress apparently disrupted and changed by encounters, disrupted by moments that change the way thoughts and consequently bodies move (Miranda Pope, “Wish You Were Here: Tino Sehgal at the Tate”).

German artist Tino Sehgal choreographs experiences, he constructs situations in public locations that catch people off guard, beginning conversations and contact between strangers. The orientation of his performative art form is influenced by his background as a dancer. The materials of the dance between strangers is physical presence, happenstance and discussions related to human experience and philosophy. People come together in unplanned encounters that stimulate contact through a sense of being together within a particular place and time. Participants are stopped in their paths, in order to meet within an enhanced level of human connection. Names are not important, but sharing opinions, beliefs and experiences entangle the conversation with different approaches to meaning.

Sehgal’s work is not theatrical; it is a choreography with choices. It is about movement, pathways, interactions and encounters. He implicates habitual movements within public thoroughfares with surprise meetings. Somehow awakening the body, while awakening the mind, while inviting new ways of approaching everyday worlds.

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Photo: Tino Sehgal, These Associations, Turbine Hall, Tate Modern, 2012

In 2012 Sehgal produced These Associations at the Turbine Hall of the Tate Modern in London. He trained interested members of the public to walk, sing, jog and talk to strangers. The movement of Sehgal’s volunteers was described by the Tate’s Gallery Director Chris Deacon as an “anarchic experience, a flow of energy that gave a feeling of recognition and belonging” (Tino Sehgal Takes Over Tate Modern Turbine Hall by Genevieve Hassan).

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Drawing: Doris Schlaepfer, Drawings After These Associations

Unknowingly, I became part of Sehgal’s production in the Turbine Hall.  I was swept up into a wave of people pacing the large cavernous space, at first in lines, then running, then scattering suddenly. I was approached by one of Sehgal’s mediators, who talked about family, regret, confusion and loss. The conversation happened not at the beginning, but in the middle. There were no introductions, no mapping out of identities, just two life currents meeting at mid-stream.

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Photo: Tino Sehgal, These Associations, Turbine Hall, Tate Modern, 2012

In their recent book Art as Therapy Alain de Botton and John Armstrong reference Sehgal as a political artist changing the nature of human interaction through addressing the collective personality. The art that Sehgal choreographs is both intangible, a passing experience, and also the making of a mind and body imprint.

To call the experience Sehgal has set in motion life-affirming would be no more than platitude. This is a profound work and at the same time riveting; a new form of art somewhere between theatre, performance art, dance and memoir and yet based on an immense gathering of humanity that includes all of us as live participants. Life art, I suppose…Attention is what it is all about, this precious thing we scarcely give one another and which is both the substance and the object of Sehgal’s work. We often speak of art as life-changing; this event truly has that potential in all its fullness and humanity. One learns about other people, and one learns about oneself. I shall never forget it (Tine Sehgal These Associations – A Review of Laura Cumming).

The significance of Sehgal’s work for art therapy is choreographing experiences – generating public art forms that ignite interactions within the extended practice of art therapy. The essence of Sehgal’s art is meeting people where they are in the moment. Exposing the materials of daily life, as the materials of art therapy in a combination of togetherness and sharing. Art therapy needs to embody spontaneous gestures on a larger scale, and to embrace public happenings as important therapeutic interventions.

References

Art as Therapy by Alain de Botton and John Armstrong

Tino Sehgal These Associations – A Review by Laura Cumming http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2012/jul/29/tino-sehgal-these-associations-review

Tino Sehgal Takes Over Tate Modern Turbine Hall by Genevieve Hassan http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-18957938

Wish You Were Here: Tino Sehgal at the Tate by Miranda Pope http://www.theweeklings.com/mpope/2012/11/18/wish-you-were-here-tino-sehgal-at-the-tate/

Doris Schlaepfer, http://dorisschlaepfer.com/sehgal.php

Lines Made by Walking

November 23, 2013

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Photos: Belfast Art Therapy Summer School, Land Art Workshop

Walking is a way of drawing lines, marking out spaces, and mapping. Roaming through different kinds of terrains (urban, rural and suburban), can involve physical experiences within the art therapy encounter. Walking can be documented through photographs, videos, and sketches. It can be a means of foraging for art materials (natural and found), a way to frame therapeutic conversations, and a method for making routes through the world at hand. Collections of found materials can be gathered, as a kind of ritual. Bundled they become hand held sculptures and collages. Natural materials can be worn, attached to clothing, made into hats, masks, or strung on to cord for wearing.

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“Our gait is as personal as our fingertip”, writes Karen O’Rourke in Walking and MappingArtists as Cartographers. With our feet we make choices, select passageways, and shape the spaces we pass through. We respond to experiences coming at us from all directions, negotiating the unexpected.  Even in the course of a routine walk we come across unforeseen circumstances. Perhaps artworks can be made and left along the paths we walk, whether along forests trails or concrete foot paths. These gifts becoming a way to reach out to others, to give something of ourselves away in anticipation of being found.

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Walking is a public form of art therapy disclosing our whereabouts through the lines of our travel. Our feet draw our marks of connection within and through particular places. Do we trace the same paths repeatedly? Do we walk off course? In A Field Guide to Getting Lost, Rebecca Solnit champions the benefits of getting lost, as the beginning of finding another way. Going beyond what we know, begins a collaboration with chance and change. “Getting lost is not a matter of geography so much as identity, a passionate desire, even an urgent need, to become no one and anyone, to shake off the shackles that remind you who you are, who others think you are” (Rebecca Solnit, A Field Guide to Getting Lost).

References

Karen O’Rourke, Walking and Mapping: Artists as Cartographers

Richard Long, Walking Artist, http://www.richardlong.org/

Hamish Fulton, Walking Artist, http://www.hamish-fulton.com/

Michel De Certeau, The Practice of Everyday Life

Rebecca Solnit, A Field Guide to Getting Lost

Rebecca Solnit, Wanderlust: A History of Walking

Everyday Readymades

October 24, 2013

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Photo: Everyday Objects by Rhea Batz

“Experimentation also involves attention to the normally unnoticed” (Allan Kaprow, Essays on the Blurring of Art and Life)

Does newly produced art have to always be made in art therapy? Or, can art therapy also incorporate personally significant collection of everyday objects? The readymade objects that inhabit domestic life, work, leisure and daily experiences are many. Gathering and assembling items that have symbolic meaning can act as a condensed personal archive. Combining different dimensions of life into a mini-installation, or life sculpture, brings into relationship many kinds of experiences. Allan Kaprow used the idea of “life like art” to describe art that reminds us of the rest of our lives. He encouraged us to be conscious inventors of the life that also invents us. How can we revision the materials we interact with on a daily basis as artworks in art therapy?

It’s a strange thought, that personal identity and qualities of mind and character can be discovered not only in people, but also in objects, landscapes, jars or boxes. If this seems a bit odd, it’s because we have, by and large, emptied the visual realm of personal character. Yet when we feel kinship with an object, it is because the values we sense that it carries are clearer in it than they usually are in our minds (Alain de Botton and John Armstrong)

In his book The Poetics of Space, Gaston Bachelard describes how domestic objects are in essence hybrids in their role as subject-objects. Subject-objects are intimately felt, they are handled items that reflect what we hold on to for practical and symbolic reasons. A subject-object could be a piece of clothing, photograph, pen, mobile phone, a piece of jewellery, an inherited ornament, or something picked up off the street. The organisation and display of a ready-made assemblage can be a vital composition, highlighting the life situations of an art therapy participant in a concrete way. Reconstituting ordinary objects into a re-mixing of meaning  (or finding the valuable in the taken-for-granted) is not only a guide to self-knowledge, but a way to replenish awareness of what’s around us.

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Photo: A Display of Shoes and Sticks, Belfast Art Therapy Summer School, 2013

A recent article in the Financial Times by Susie Boyt called “Identity in a Biscuit Tin” describes the work of Christian Boltanski, whose recent installation at the Pompidou Centre in Paris is composed of 646 old biscuit tines, containing 1200 photographs and 800 documents gathered by the artist from his studio over a 23 year period. Boyt writes, “standing in front of Les Archives made me think of so many things: exile, humility, childhood, home, concealment and display, and how we as humans come to measure and regard our own personal history, our memories, and our suffering”

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Photo: Les archives de Christian Boltanski 1965-1989,  placed in biscuit tins.

From personal objects arranged as a documentation of experience, to biscuit tins as containers of personal history, the subject of what is an art material in art therapy requires critical consideration. Using everyday readymades is a means of inviting art therapy participants to “come as they are” to “be themselves” rather than fitting into art materials that don’t suit how they live their lives.

It’s a strange thought, that personal identity and qualities of mind and character can be discovered not only in people, but also in objects, landscapes, jars or boxes. It this seems a bit odd, it’s because we have, by and large, emptied the visual realm of personal character. Yet when we feel a kinship with an object, it is because the values we sense that it carries are clearer in it than they usually are in our minds (Alain de Botton and John Armstrong).

It is important for people to feel at home in art therapy, to feel relaxed and share who they are. The Irish artist Kate Murphy’s writes that home

…is an extension of The Self, an archetype of both physical and psychological boundaries and the primary site of the development of personal, cultural, gender and sexual identity. The house or dwelling, as an artefact, serves as a source of materials, forms and objects with which to investigate notions of social convention, ritual, nostalgia and the unconscious.  (Home) is personally grounded in expressions of longing, loss, embodiment and the duality of protection versus isolation (Kate Murphy, Exhibition Catalogue).

Subject-objects picked from home and found in life, sculpt a series of stories waiting to be heard. These items are  the autobiographical grounds of subjectivity as it travels through neighbourhoods, streets, paths, and different zones of life activity.

References

The Poetics of Space by Gaston Bachelard

Art as Therapy by Alain de Botton and John Armstrong

“Identity in a Biscuit Tin” by Susie Boyt (Financial Times)

The Blurring of Art and Life by Allan Kaprow

Kate Murphy, http://katemurphyartwork.blogspot.ie/

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The poetics of fiber (fabric, paper, felt, wool, fleece, etc.) contains folds, which can metaphorically link to physical and psychological dimensions of space.

What if the poetics of cloth were composed of ‘soft logics’, modes of thought that twist and turn and stretch and fold? And in this movement new encounters were made, beyond the constraint of binaries? The binary offers two possibilities, either/or; soft logics offers multiple possibilities. They are the realm of the and/and, where anything can happen…Soft logics are to think without excluding…And if soft suggests an elastic surface, a tensile quality that yields to pressure this is not a weakness; for ‘an object that gives in is actually stronger than one that resists, because it also permits the opportunity to be oneself in a new way’ (Pennina Barnett, “Folds, Fragments, Surfaces: Towards a Poetics of Cloth in Jessica Hemmings (editor) The Textile Reader and Max Kozloff, “The Poetics of Softness” in Remderings, Critical Essays on a Century of Modern Art).

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Philosopher Gilles Deleuze believed that the concept of the fold was an image of the mental and physical landscape. The fold is not unlike exercising the brain to perceive differently; it is experimental thinking, a creative activity that is triggered by a new encounter or conditions that are unfamiliar. The fold is tactile, embodied and sensuous. It is not an interpretation, but a response, a feeling of being ‘touched’ in a unfamiliar way. The caress of an unexpected happening can inspire and rejuvenate. The poetic fiber stretches out, enfolding a new set of experiences. The mental and physical sensation of being stretched (unfolded and unformed) through new ideas, new people, new places, and spontaneous activities exercises both mind and body to be more flexible.

The smooth space of experimentation, where ideas and body may flow is not unlike felt.

Because it is made by rolling fibers back and forth until they enmesh, felt can potentially extend in all directions, without limit, entangled in a continuous variation – a fabric, at least in principle without top, bottom or centre (Pennina Barnett, “Folds, Fragments, Surfaces: Towards a Poetics of Cloth” in Jessica Hemmings (editor) The Textile Reader.

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Felt is a metaphor for extended space, an enmeshment of influences that shape our character and actions. The friction needed to produce felt, is indicative of the effort and force needed to create the material of our lives. Rather than uniformity, felt is entanglement. It also reflects the transformation of one reality into another, as loose fleece becomes a strong cloth through concentrated action.

References

Pennina Barnett, “Folds, Fragments, Surfaces: Towards a Poetics of Cloth” in Jessica Hemmings (editor) The Textile Reader

Max Kozloff, “The Poetics of Softness” in Renderings, Critical Essays on a Century of Modern Art

Photos

Crocheted Seed Sculptures, Suspended by the Grand Canal, Dublin

Sheep’s Fleece from Finland, Sculpted in a Washing Machine, Ireland

 

Body, Space, Image

March 8, 2013

Take an image, let it hang in the mind, let the sensation of the thought dissolve through the body. Let the movement inside the body…move outside. Allow the sensations their own time and expression…waiting for a space between the thoughts, an unlocking of the parts of the body – a gap into which something new can emerge (Miranda Tufnell and Chris Crickmay, Body, Space, Image: Notes Towards Improvisation and Performance).

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Gilles Deleuze developed the concept of the fold in relation to developing an idea of space that actualized the body in different ways. Architecture has been influenced by his ideas of fluid space, which can influence the body’s capacity to move. Architecture is a frame or scene that can enfold the body within its dimensions. An inflection of space, can potentially be connected to improvisation.  Improvising movement in response to the topography of architecture experiments with the body in relation to the spaces of a built environment. Deleuze’s concepts of architecture understand it as a dynamic force which can influence physical possibilities. Architecture can direct physical formations and qualities of movement.

We improvise the moment we cease to know what is going to happen. Setting the mind loose from the ongoingness of everyday life (Miranda Tufnell and Chris Crickmay, Body, Space, Image: Notes Towards Improvisation and Performance).

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The surfaces of buildings and interiors, the spaces they inhabit and generate are the stimulants of exploring representations of the body. The body can repeat patterns of movement through space, or add on new ways of investigation spatial features. The desire of the body can be enacted within different kinds of spaces, that encourage instinctual expression. The body’s desire is about production, becoming and connecting. A community of bodies within a shared space will enact the space according to different desires. Each participant will go their own way, animating their shared space through their own interpretations. As animate forms, bodies imagine space differently.

Where you are when you don’t know where you are is one of the most precious spots offered by improvisation. It is a place from which more directions are possible than anywhere else. I call this place the gap. The more I improvise, the more I’m convinced that it is through the medium of these gaps – this momentary suspension of reference point – that comes the unexpected and much sought after ‘original’ material. It’s ‘original’ because its origin is the current moment and because it come from outside our usual frame of reference (Nancy Stark Smith quoted in Miranda Tufnell and Chris Crickmay, Body, Space, Image: Notes Towards Improvisation and Peformance).

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Deleuze is interested in how we occupy different kinds of space within a social assemblage. Explorations of space using improvisation are nomadic, wandering through physical positions both familiar and unfamiliar with others simultaneously undergoing the same kinds of experiences.

Each person is at once responsive to others and independent of them, ready to be changed by, but not absorbed into another person’s activity. The skill lies in being able to include what another person is doing, while not losing one’s own momentum of thought. Each person must become an ingredient in the mixing and making of a piece. There is no place for manners or mannerisms. Social conventions, routine habits of polite or impolite daily life, suppress the sensory and imaginative world from which this work begins. (Simone Forti quoted in Miranda Tufnell and Chris Crickmay, Body, Space, Image: Notes Towards Improvisation and Performance).

References

Miranda Tufnell and Chris Crickmay, Body, Space, Image: Notes Towards Improvisation and Performance. 

Ian Buchanan and Greg Lambert (editors) Deleuze and Space

Photos

Graffiti The Royal Canal Dublin

Pigment on Handmade Paper at The Creative Arts Retreat, Wales

Drawing with Words Exhibition, Ardee Library, County Louth

Connectivity

March 7, 2013

There is no being, which is separate from the processes of becoming. Our world consists of moments of becoming, the mingling of bodies, the meeting of forces, a constant interpenetration and interconnection of all phenomena. (Simon O’Sullivan, Art Encounters: Deleuze and Guattari Thought Beyond Representation)

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Simon O’Sullivan’s book Art Encounters: Deleuze and Guattari Thought Beyond Representation discusses how movement forms the basis of art that physically connects to instinct, impulse and improvisation. Movement connects locations of subjectivity, through transversal actions. Subjectivity is a becoming that can be appreciated more in the making of art than as a representation of an artwork’s meaning.

Meaning is always fluid and plural for Deleuze and Guattari, the self is never enclosed as an entity, but instead a work of potential becoming. Potential is in the production of “new plots of land”, it is not a re-tracing of one’s steps over what has gone on before, but instead creates a new landscape of connections. Each artwork adds on to identity as an accumulation, a series  of ands.

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Deleuze and Guattari use the word subjectivity to denote a system of environments that compose identity not as a singular entity but as an assemblage. Their plea is for everyone to experiment with opportunity, to realize potential in many different places. To embrace life as a learning system that grows laterally. In art terms this system of life locations, could be called an imagescpae, a collection of personal images that reflect a variety of life activities and circumstances.

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References

Simon O’Sullivan, Art Encounters Deleuze and Guattari: Thought Beyond Represenation

Photos

Textile Workshop – Stitching with Wire and Plastic, FE McWiliam Gallery, Northern Ireland

Scratched Line on Ochre Cliff, The Creative Arts Retreat Wales

Artist Book made with Sandi Sexton Book Artist, Ireland

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Emotionally we derive from nature pleasure, fulfillment, inspiration and solace; nature is fundamental to our culture, language, psychological and spiritual well-being (Irish Environmental Information Service).

Plants and trees shape imagination, they are alive symbols rich in social history, customs and beliefs.  Historically they are emblems that inspire stories, poetry, and folklore. As living landmarks, they designate boundaries, record historic events, offer medicinal cures, and  become gathering places for communities.

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Tree and plant folklore in Ireland is rich with psychological references. Gathering bundles of plants for protection, influence, love, prosperity, and good health are a strong cultural tradition. All Celtic seasons involve the psyche within the dynamics of seasonal activity. Propagation, harvest, death and new growth are all reflected within particular seasonal intentions. Each Celtic season has customs associated with physical and psychological processes connected to change.

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The great ideas in art often manifest in very humble forms, through a small area of colour, or through a green tone around a certain small form, or for instance through an olive leaf.

Agriculture is a question of art, which for me is is the engagement with substances. In other words, if one understands the spirit of substances, one can only really do agriculture. (Quotation by Joseph Beuys, What Is Art?).

Traditional herbalism promotes the restorative aspects of plants often mistaken for weeds. Charms and rituals were also connected to the picking and bundling of herbs, which would offer support during times of distress or aid in the acquisition of good luck. Dressing trees for May Day, promised fertility and abundance. Lighting a fire for Samhain (Halloween or Summer’s End) produced the fertilizing ashes for the next growing year, and distributed in its smoke the hopes and wishes of the community.

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The production of amulets made from natural materials, are sculptural forms that can be carried by children and adults for a specific purpose. A bundle of symbolic natural materials, can act as a hand held sculpture. Collected while wandering through forests or naturalized areas, each plant and tree ingredient can have a particular meaning, and collectively act as an assemblage of influences from nature and the world at large.

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Lisa Lipsett, a Canadian artist and environmental educator, believes that an empathic relationship to nature through touch, develops attention, contemplative action and spontaneity. Using nature as an outdoor studio, inspires art forms that can be embraced in a different way than bought art materials. The discovery of shape, texture and use of each found environmental art material, creates a composition of many influences, evoking a  personal ecology.

References 

Lisa Lipsett, http://lisalipsett.com/

Niall MacCoitir, Irish Wild Plants: Myths, Legends and Folklore

Ben Simon, Tales, Traditions and Folklore of Ireland’s Trees

Volker Harlan (editor) What is Art? Conversations with Joseph Beuys

Photos

St. Brigid’s Well, Northern Ireland

The May Bush (An Irish Traditional Symbol for Protection)

Young Girl with Bouquet Headdress

Children participating in Land Art Workshops, County Louth, Ireland