Off-shore: A deconstruction of David Maclagan's and David Mann's 'Inscape' papers

Skaife, Sally. 2008. Off-shore: A deconstruction of David Maclagan's and David Mann's 'Inscape' papers. International Journal of Art Therapy, 13(2), pp. 44-52. ISSN 1745-4832 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This paper is a response to two recent papers in The International Journal of Art Therapy: Inscape that set out positions in relation to art therapy theory. David Maclagan (2005) argues for the importance of 'imagination' in art therapy, and David Mann (2006) responds by defending a Freudian view of art therapy which he feels Maclagan has unfairly attacked on the grounds of it suppressing imagination. The view of this paper is that the arguments in both papers perpetuate the split in art therapy between an emphasis either on the art in art therapy or the therapy in art therapy, and in both cases this is because the authors neglect the significance of embodiment. An acceptance of ourselves as physical beings brings with it an awareness of context and of gender and therefore of political relations. The two papers are deconstructed to reveal that the suppression of the perceptual results in a perpetuation of the crystallisation of imagination rather than the releasing of it, which the authors are intending. The feminist philosopher and psychoanalyst Luce Irigaray's writings are used to propose a new way in which we might think about the relationship between art and talk in art therapy.

Item Type:



art therapy, psychoanalysis and art, feminism and art, theory

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Social, Therapeutic & Community Engagement (STaCS)



Item ID:


Date Deposited:

16 Jul 2010 13:09

Last Modified:

11 Jul 2017 09:49

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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