School of Creative

Aqilah Faizall

Aqilah Faizall

MA Art Therapy
Class of 2021

Aqilah Faizall is an art psychotherapist with a keen interest in developmental traumatology and conceptualisations of space in relation to mental health practices. Aqilah has worked alongside communities and art therapists from Southeast Asia in the capacity of a mission reporter with The Red Pencil. As part of developing a highly reflexive therapeutic practice, Aqilah leans into art-making processes, with a visual vocabulary referencing Southeast Asian/South Asian ritualistic practices. Aqilah holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Public Policy & Global Affairs from Nanyang Technological University, and will graduate with a Masters of Arts in Art Therapy from LASALLE College of the Arts. She aspires to amalgamate these bodies of knowledge in the future.


Thread Lightly

Mixed media, rice paper
180 x 90 cm

Thread Lightly is a mixed media rice paper installation. This work starts as an attempt at visually recreating the difficulty of articulating pain, discomfort and trauma. As Aqilah experimented with watercolour inks, she is drawn to the energetic fission that was activated by the repelling inks. Observing the ink embed itself within the rice paper, it dries up to form coagulations and undulating shores, much like the territories and landscapes traversed and created within the therapeutic space. Aqilah moved into using residual art mediums that were abandoned or disposed of during art therapy sessions, such as leftover acrylic paints, dried slime, bits of clay and disposable towels used to clean the art therapy studio. The process of creating this piece evolved into a practice of sifting through waste at the end of therapy sessions, as well as tending and mending to tears that naturally occurred in the fragile rice paper panels. The result – a spatial imagery capturing new worlds that emerge out of the intersubjective space between therapists and clients, within which a myriad of hopes, dreams, prayers, pain, wonder, celebration and grief reverberates.

Click here to add in Fav

Thesis abstract

Therapeutic landscapes: the potentiality of space in supporting trauma-informed art therapy with children who experience violence from primary caregivers

Metaphorical references to spatiality are intrinsic to art psychotherapeutic practices, as practitioners work towards actualising safe spaces for their clients, exploring ways of holding, containing and creating boundaries. Space as an entity is multitudinous and in constant flux, and this qualitative multiple case vignette study seeks to survey and consider ways in which space is experienced in the process of art psychotherapy through a phenomenological lens, particularly when working with children who have experienced violence from their primary caregivers. Results from this study surfaces the importance of placemaking and co-creating the therapeutic space through playful embodied explorations alongside victim/survivor, through careful considerations of clients’ safety needs, particularly in working with children who have experienced violence from caregivers. Findings from this research provide recommendations for art therapists, educators and social workers working with children who have experienced early relational trauma.

Clinical internship

2020 – 2021
Family Violence Specialist Centre(FVSC)
Art therapist trainee
- Facilitated individual, dyad and group art therapy sessions for children, adults and elderly individuals facing violence within interpersonal relationships 

Paediatric ward in a hospital
Art therapist trainee
- Planned and facilitated open studio group art therapy sessions, and designed self-led art making booklets for children during the pandemic in place of open studio sessions.