110 x 81cm
The Gaze is a metaphorical and visual exploration of the maternal look through the symbolism of a window frame. As an infant’s emotional feedback, the maternal gaze may empathise, contain, protect, and support children during processes of self-identity and self-esteem development. Similar to the human eyes, windows can provide a bridge between the inside and out, at the same time it allows social connection or blocks unwanted interaction. Using the frame’s boundaries as a secure base to foster such exploration, The Gaze is composed by deconstructed artworks which were initially created as emotional responses during Clara’s clinical experience with clients. The process of dismantling and of re-organising the artworks onto the structure not only fostered her with opportunities to unpack internal states, but most importantly, it provided her with the possibility of accepting new perspectives and creating new meanings.
An exploration in fostering self-awarness and cultivating emotional literacy in children through art therapy interventions
The process of recognising, labelling, managing and understanding emotions in one’s self and others is crucial for the development of emotional literacy competence and for positive social adjustment. The aim of this qualitative study was to examine the role of art therapy with school children in fostering opportunities to promote self-awareness, as a base foundation skill of emotional literacy. Conducted within a group setting for a period of seven weeks, this single case study included a 10-year-old male student with maladaptation symptoms in response to an unfamiliar educational environment. The use of images to visually represent feelings and self-aspects allowed the participant to regain control over chaotic affective states, and encouraged the discrimination and labelling of emotions. As a result, a significant increase in positive conduct and the ability to make new social connections were demonstrated. Although the art therapeutic environment proved to be an excellent platform for the exploration of self-awareness and the identification of affective states, further research is needed to explore and elaborate on the benefits of art therapy in teaching children about cause and intent of others’ affect, as a tool to elicit appropriate emotional responses during social interaction.
Art therapist trainee
- Conducted group and individual sessions with female adults.
2020 – 2021
International school in Singapore
Art therapist trainee
- Conducted group and individual sessions with children of aged 7–14.