Dive 2 - Week 1 Final reflections

Random Thoughts

Marinating on: an object being used to play with these ideas.  I started out thinking about the 80s because that was a time of identification, but I really am not too interested in the aesthetics of it. It reminds of childhood.  But the way Kira Walker uses silhouettes in a different way, or the Iron/Mask of WIllie Cole is a very intriguing idea. Marinating. 

Mindful of: Bob Mueller saying "the answer is in the studio." I am spending too much time in my head and writing, and not making enough art. 

Realizations: Different twists on my research questions that I only now thought of:

  1. which is more empowering/transformational/healing: Social Justice Art Ed activities that could also be done in a classroom, or Expressive Arts Therapy practices?
  2. What conditions are required for art making to be transformational or empowering? 

Another realization: I am holding back from doing full fledged expressive arts. I am doing it out of context, and if feels weird and un-academic.   

And now for the art.  

Today (Sunday) I tried to do expressive arts. In my head, I had this idea of creating a story, or a narrative, and I wanted to do 3-D, or make puppets or something.  I was planning on working all day, excited to have the whole day reserved for it. But I had a horrible headache, a kink in my neck, blurred vision (eye doctor appointment tomorrow), a partner who wanted to paint and be in my work area, which felt inhibiting, and I felt migraine-y and really tired.  I always ruin my own plans. 

Yesterday I created an audio guided imagery to help me. It was meant to help me find two characters to use to create a little narrative.  I have to say, I really liked my guided imagery, but I feel I use this approach too much, and would like to use other ways of getting into that alternative mindset, like movement. But movement is embarrassing and my partner was home so laying on the floor with headphones was better.

The first character was an old woman, and I think it was myself in the future. I liked myself. I looked self assured, and had short gray hair.  The other character was meant to be a sort of adversary or character that taught me something by opposing me.  That one was also me, as I am now.  It was disconcerting. Usually when I do these guided imageries, the things that appear are animals. 

I didn't know what do, as making a puppet of myself seemed overworked. I thought of the artist Marlene Dumas, and decided to make strange improvised, lumpy faces with the modeling compound. I did some of them with my eyes closed.  I did a black wash over them to bring out the facial features. 

Then I played with them outside. I thought about the play therapy technique called sand tray, and I brought out other figures to use outside.  Not very happy with the results., here they are:

At first I hated the faces outside, because they looked like garden art, like silly whimsical stepping stones.  But they were good for playing with the idea of camouflage.  I painted a third one very colorful. My camera has a facial recognition feature, and it was fun to see when it caught the faces and when it didn't:

This next week I focus on the theme Belonging/Marginalization.  I want to build on what I have already created, because I feel pretty scattered around, which is okay.  I think this next theme will bring be interesting for integrating some of the visual culture with expressive arts.