‘Art does have a very powerful thing that it can offer you and that is when you get involved in making something you kind of forget yourself for a moment as well. And you also; in little ways, are affecting the world. You know if you feel powerless and depressed, and you’re making something, you are in a small way changing the world. You do have that power, you do have that opportunity. And also art in places like prisons and hospitals, it gives a people who can’t talk about their feelings to work out their subconscious processes without them even realizing what they’re doing (and to get it out of their system). If they’ve got strong emotions flooding about or if they find it hard to talk about then [art] is a great way to do that, that’s what I do.’
Like others contributing to Projects unedited I have been enjoying snippets from Grayson Perry speaking as part of the BBC’s Reith Lecture series. As part of a Q & A at the end of his third lecture – Nice Rebellion, Welcome In! – Perry talks about what he perceives to be the health benefits of art, though not art therapy specifically (see above).
Perry is a thoroughly enjoyable listen, walking a fine line between ‘establishment insider and snarky outsider’ (Moore, 2013). It is also interesting to note that Perry himself attended therapy between the late 90s and early 2000s and is married to a psychotherpist (Dean, 2012), so he appreciates the links between art and therapy more than most. I’m looking forward to listening to his next (and final) lecture tomorrow night.
Aitkenhead, D., (2012), Grayson Perry at Guardian Open Weekend, Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/series/grayson-perry-at-guardian-open-weekend, (accessed: 01.11.13)
British Broadcasting Cooperation, (2013), Nice Rebellion, Welcome In!, Available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03f9bg7, (accessed: 30.10.13)
Dean, L., (2012), Grayson on Life and Therapy, Available at: http://laurajanedean.com/post/19951123512, (accessed: 01.11.13)
Moore, S., (2013), Postmodernism killed the avant garde. Lady Gaga is no substitute for Lou Reed, Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/oct/30/postmodernism-avant-garde-lady-gaga-lou-reed-x-factor, (accessed: 01.11.13)