The work of art is the work of embodiment

Westwood, Jill. 2009. 'The work of art is the work of embodiment'. In: ECARTE 10th European ARTS THERAPIES CONFERENCE. ECArTE, United Kingdom 16-19 September. [Conference or Workshop Item]

Text (Conference session proposal)
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Abstract or Description

The session was located within an installation art work which included objects, film, projected images and performance elements. During the scheduled performance the audience was situated inside the installation and was provided with an opportunity to reflect on the experience. The installation included images, projections and film that are part a body of developing artwork titled ‘The work of art is the work of embodiment’. This work is a collaboration of a team of four art therapy educators (Dr Sheridan Linnell, Suzanne Perry, Josephine Pretorius) from the University of Western Sydney. The work explores the interface of our experiences in our roles and identities as artists, art therapists and educators. A complex emotional landscape is created which is inspired by the use of art based methods in learning about becoming an art therapist. Aspects of this work have been presented at several different sites.

As art therapy educators we have observed the effectiveness of art based methods in teaching and learning with students. We decided to apply our teaching methods to ourselves to see what occurred. We were excited by the effects of the work and this proposed installation/performance will include exploration on the ideas, visual & experiential evidence of the work and our developing thinking in these areas.

Notions of art, aesthetics and embodiment have been central to this work and have preoccupied our minds. Aesthetics is about sensory perception. Embodiment is about an integration of ‘substance and spirit’ – ‘body and mind’. When brought into consideration with art it suggests thinking about the body, senses and perception in making and experiencing art. These topics lead to philosophical depths and questions that we are beginning to explore primarily through the experience of creating art work on these themes related to art therapy and education.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Other)


Installation, Performance, Art Therapy, Embodiment

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Social, Therapeutic & Community Engagement (STaCS) > Unit for Psychotherapeutic Studies


19 September 2009["eprint_fieldopt_dates_date_type_shown" not defined]

Event Location:

ECArTE, United Kingdom

Date range:

16-19 September

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

01 Nov 2010 12:43

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 15:29


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