Creative Inspiration Playlist: Thievery Corporation Station on Pandora
Visual artist passionate about holistic living.
Self-Portrait Collage, 2017.
I am familiar with this type of practice in the program that I volunteer in. Once a week, patients are invited to join in the group project called “meditative collage.” Before they arrive, all the images are already torn out of magazines and spread out into categories. This allows for the patients to easily pick and choose images they find inspiring since it is already laid out for them and also they can search for something specific they would like to incorporate. It is also important to offer manual help to the patients that are not physically able to cut or move easily. I believe it is important for the Artist in Residence not only direct a project but also to offer aid as much as possible. We also suggest to the patients not to think too hard about their project and to pick any images that catch their eye or call out to them. Some people can be intimidated by creative projects, so this mindset can help simplify the process. Though our prompt is not specified as a “self-portrait”, the end products usually tells a story about the participant even though they may not have thought about it.
A second artist discipline I would add to this creative project would be a journal entry or piece of writing. The process of collecting images helps give a visual to the participants thoughts, feelings, likes, desires, or anything else they incorporated about themselves. Though, after the process of visualizing the story, I think it would be interesting to have the patients write and explain the story about themselves, or even write the six-letter word story as we did in the first creative practice. The visual collage plus the description could help the patient have a collective understanding to the meaning of their work.
To adapt this prompt to a specific health population, I would invite the patient to join in with other people who may share their illness. This provides a secure and compassionate environment and also solidarity since everyone participating is experiencing similar things. I could also provide prompts that may relate to subjects the patient’s experience. For example, aside from a self-portrait, I could prompt a collage project to visualize somewhere a patient would like go after they heal, or a collage of experiences they would like to have after their treatment. I would like to organize an array of themes and projects that can help them visualize their goals for healing.