Artists and psychology go together like hot milk and cocoa. I am sure that there are better pairings than that, but you know what I mean? In part, art is the visual expression. Some artists are equipped with a command of all sorts of media and means of expression. Some are more narrow in their execution and capacity.
Artist, Rebecca Fortnum communicates with drawings of children with their eyes shut. She didn’t draw them with her eyes shut, but drew subjects with eyes closed.
I wrote about an artist, Pat Silbert, this weekend who quoted an expression credited to Native Americans, “Art is prayer made visible.” For some artists and art, that may be true. Elise Ritter is an Arlington painter who embodies spiritual feeling in her work that is beyond literal expression, for instance. She exhibits at the Northern Virginia Arts Center among other places.
Art therapists working at psychiatric institutions employ art under supervision of clinical staff to help patients work through issues and to express feelings that otherwise might not be apparent.
While most people living in the DC Metro won’t have the opportunity to visit the Freud Museum in London, you can still see what is going on at their website.
“6 March 2013 - 26 May 2013
“.. only where I find a face do I encounter an exteriority and does an outside happen to me.” G. Agamben, Means without End, Notes on Politics (2000)
Rebecca Fortnum’s exhibition at the Freud Museum, 'Self Contained', develops several strands of her recent work on the formation of identity, dreams and the power of the gaze.
The series 'Dream' depicts children with their eyes closed in paired pencil portraits. In these small, intimate works we can look at the subjects very closely but they never look back. No blinking, no flinching; we are struck by their interiority. They shut out the intrusive viewer. The imagery responds directly to notions of the power relations of the subject’s gaze, introducing on a suggestive level the ideal of the child’s dreams and imaginings that are inaccessible to the viewer. The portraits are completed in pairs in a process developed to question the authenticity of the single image. These works will be displayed in Anna Freud’s room at the Freud Museum, along with works in silverpoint, to draw out connections with Anna Freud’s writings on the child’s relationship with the adult world.
The series 'Wide Shut' includes three large paired portraits, each with a veil of colour over the image. These are of older girls, one image of each pair with open eyes. They act out the duality of proper and improper, of communication and communicability, of potentiality and action.”