Art as a tool for healing


A series of articles and interviews

Art has the power to change both people's perceptions of life and their mental well-being. In fact, discussion on the ability of art to influence human behaviour goes at least as far back as Plato. The global pandemic, which has made people emotionally fragile, vulnerable and lonely, has only exacerbated the need to find innovative solutions to this consequential rise in mental health problems. Art, which has proven its healing capacity for centuries, is one such solution.

But to what extent are people willing to use art as a tool for self-healing? How should we be looking at art in order to understand its multi-layered nature and discover its innate ability to help solve problems? Living in the clamour of a contemporary world that is constantly multitasking and accelerating has robbed people of the ability to stop and delve into art long enough to see the effective power of the image. Art can provoke, shock, console, and break down preconceived notions, thereby changing our attitudes towards ourselves and the world. Art can reduce irritability, stress and depression, and can aid in the development of critical thinking. However, it is important to understand the mechanisms behind this power that art has as a tool for healing. presents a series of interviews and articles in which we look for the answers to these questions.

Everybody makes art at some point in their lives / An interview with Helen Jury, an art psychotherapist, researcher, and practising artist in Britain

We have a hospital where we can really innovate / An interview with Trystan Hawkins, Arts and Patient Environment Director at CW+, the charity of Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust 

Art is essential to the human capacity to tolerate uncertainty / An interview with Nana Zhvitiashvili, curator and art psychotherapist who has facilitated the professional collaboration between British and Russian art therapists

Exploring the Museum’s Images – Exploring My Image. Group art psychotherapy in museum / An interview with Elisabeth Ioannides, education curator and art psychotherapist at the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens

Museotherapy – the museum as a prescription / An interview with Stephen Legari, art therapist at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

Art is generative of new kinds of realities / An interview with American artist and philosopher Megan Craig

Imagery can be healthy or harmful, addictive or nutritious / An interview with Marine Tanguy, founder of MTArt Agency and originator of the notion of a “visual diet”

Through forging connections, art can be a healing tool / Han Nefkens about how art can help you cope with the isolation and living with HIV/AIDS

I think art is a healer / A conversation with artist Paloma Tendero

What you see is who you are / A conversation with British neuroscientist Daniel Glaser

We Need To Talk / Jurriaan Benschop about art in the time of lockdown

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