The Way Things Were is a depiction of my childhood home on the kibbutz in Israel. Following a five-week exploration of the meaning of home through journaling, reading, sketching and sculpting, this miniature model became a metaphoric rendition of the collective home of my childhood during the 1970's and 1980's. This process took place in the first half of the course Creativity, Symbolism, and Metaphor at Antioch university Seattle.
In this creative process I used a broken, burnt looking, porcelain baby figurine as a representation of early childhood trauma. I then attempted to create a beautiful surrounding environment for the figurine to nestle in. The aesthetic and balanced containing environment symbolizes the possibility of neuroplasticity to reshape early childhood trauma wounds and develop new thought processes and emotional experiences in the path towards healing. This art work attempts to convey the idea that trauma does not have to be the end of the road; despite its enduring affect, it may be overcome. Course - Developmental and Treatment Models.
In working on this piece, I've explored the relationships and boundaries between materials that have inherently different characteristic. My intention was to come to a better understanding of my own relational boundaries through this exploration. As an immigrant to this country, I constantly find myself at odds with local cultural and social norms. Externalizing and exploring this challenge through an object I created, helped me understand the challenge better and access tangible solutions.
Each horizontal row of rocks is painted using a different art therapy theory. The top row represents scribble art therapy, the middle row uses narrative art therapy and the bottom row was an exercise in mindful painting to the sound of music.
This painting had a dual purpose. First and foremost, I intended to focus on the creative process itself and allow my mind to experience a meditative like state through the repetitive physical motion. This activity helped me feel calm. Second, as I was engaged in the physical experience, I kept in mind neuroplasticity’s endless capacity to reframe our experiences. I feel that the end result represents exactly that – the endless nature of neuroplasticity.
This piece was created as a final Art Therapy project for Family of Origin class. It expresses the idea that we are all connected to our family ancestry, our heritage, and our culture. No man (or woman) is an island - we always come from somewhere, we always cary our DNA with us... The name for this piece and its materials are inspired by the work of one of my favorite artists (and friend) Andrea Nelson. Andrea's assemblage "No Strings Attached" was the inspiration for naming my piece "All Strings Attached". To see Andrea's work, visit antelopearts.com.
The Way Things Shall Be is a follow up to the project The Way Things Were. This project emerged during the second phase of the course Creativity, Symbolism and Metaphor. A five-week exploration of who do I wish to work with as my future population and what my work with that population might look like concluded with this environmental art therapy project. The fig tree holds many symbolic (universal, cultural, and personal) meanings. In this work I addressed the fig tree as a symbol of Israel, and a symbol of the 1997 helicopter disaster in northern Israel, in which my young brother was killed along with 72 other soldiers. In the future, I hope to work with Israeli population suffering from trauma due to the Israeli/Arab conflict.