Department: The Department of Art Education
Degree programme: MA in Art Education
Author: Martina Cleary
Title: Transformation
Level: Diploma Work
Number of pages: 55

Abstract:

My interest in the transformative potential of creativity has come about through my experience in the areas of artmaking and art-education. Over the years certain recurring issues and their inter-relation continue to fascinate me creatively and pedagogically. As an artist I have noticed maladies of the profession such as melancholia, depression, despair, loneliness, and the death drive which are counterbalanced in part by some enduring and redemptive quality in the creative process. As an educator I have encountered the art student suffering from ´unusual moods´ that supersede the simplicity of visual problems and listened to colleages interpretations or frustrations when faced with the difficulticulties of ´mental illness´ in the pedagogical encounter. I have heard artists dismiss teachers lacking personal insight into the inherent anxiety integral to creativity, while others claim inner turmoil as irrelevant to purely aesthetic considerations and training. It seems many educators thread a fine line between over involvement with their students mental health , or the alternative of abandoning students to their fate, as they feel inadequately trained to tackle what are essentially psychological problems. Mental illness, breakdown, substance addiction and suicide persist as hazards, even inevitable expectations within the creative professions. Recurring psychological difficulties amongst students frequently place the art-educator in a postition where s/he is faced with demands that far exceed the boundaries of regular pedagogical training. When the art teacher/mentor occupies an important formative role in development of the artistic personality should s/he be more adequately prepared to meet more than the aesthetic problems of the student?
In this thesis I discuss key concepts in Jungian psychoanalysis and expressive art-therapy to explore the transformative potential of creativity. This paper was accompanied by a public exhibition of art-work.

Materials: Printed document
Keywords: Jungian Psychoanalysis, Art-Therapy, Art-Based Research
Where deposited: The Department of Art Education
Confidential until: