Creation of series as a force of expression
In a previous post, I shared a phenomenon I noticed decades ago. I would like to elaborate on it some more.
I have noticed a phenomenon long ago as a young art therapist.
It serves me since the late 80ies, also as an artist.
In my experience, the number of drawings a person creates in therapy is correlated to the length of the treatment. This sounds a little odd, but 300 drawings are more efficient and will expedite healing faster than 30!
Some clients have heard me say: If you create an acre of drawings, you will complete your therapy. So, draw a lot at home and expedite the process. Your soul knows the path.
Why is this so?
Every paper or sculpture is a step on the road from here to there, and this adds up. Thus, a journey of 30 papers or 300 is a different journey.
I presume that creating a series impacts the brain so that it processes and constructs feelings and information. What a surprise! We were not even there and did not interpret the drawings, and it still happened. The process continues on its own, and the soul finds its genuine path.
I have a few clients that went through such a process. As the therapist, it was quite extraordinary to notice how my place on that journey was a witness with not too much input. In a way, I can say that it is like watching our toddler learning to stand and walk. You just need to be there as she does practices it countless times and encourage and be happy for her.
Thus, if you manage to have a client that will try to create a series, the following things will probably happen:
- Creating a series is like a metronome of the heart. Like breathing. The tempo calms us down and includes the output, which slowly drains out.
- Moreover, there is not one beautiful drawing that should be executed. There is peacefulness instead.
- The creator’s brain and soul will continue to synchronize what it needs to without our interpretations: the materials and process will do what they do. This means that a person who manages to create a series, a group of artworks – will create for themselves a valuable independent inner metronome of upkeep and even therapy.
- The evolves and builds itself. Trust and respect their process even from a distance.
- This is also great empowerment – your encouragement and invitation to the child to be their own therapist and manage their progress pace and initiatives
- This is a process of modesty and adjustment of your precise place concerning the client, as well as trusting the soul which knows its own way. And you are a witness of this development once in a few days.
These two were created during the second Corona week. I felt restless and anxious. The back became the front.
- A file – making a place for the pieces is the creation of a safe place. Idit Cohen-Shuv published in the therapists’ group the story of a girl who refused to create, but readily agreed to make a file for all her new drawings until they meet again. She slept with the file under her pillow. That is, she had created for herself a safe place, a talisman, which helped her wait. She herself created the inner forces embodied in the papers and the file, as well as in the ceremony of keeping the artifact under the pillow. The girl probably did not know this, but this is a type of therapy that used to be common in Morocco. Writing a difficult, frightening question on a note and placing it inside a talisman under the pillow, expecting the dream to find the answer. This little girl expresses in her soul a universal archetype, probably unfamiliar to her.
Thus, any type of series or continuum will be suitable: comics, creating a small world within a large cardboard box from the supermarket which will develop over at least a week from plasticine and bits and pieces from the house, and possibly even photographs? Short films of the work? Writing a story or a play?
A few days later, during the session, the child will present and share this, and you will be enthusiastic regarding consistency and abundance.
This provides confirmation and being the keeper in your mind that what they are doing is important and good.
So, let us hope for better days, and until then do what we can.
This is an opportunity for a lesson in humility and gratitude for what we have.
Embroidered Texts, Nona Orbach, 2020