GroWings: A Poetry & Art Therapy Self-Exploration

by Angelica Atkins

This self-study was an arts-based exploration of identity through spontaneous art making and poetry writing in the context of the final year of training group at an art therapy institute. The journey of self-discovery culminated with a public art show/artist talk. Footage of the artist talk and spoken word poetry with artwork have been included on an accompanying DVD and referred to in the thesis. Reflective retrospective writing examined cultural background and presenting issues as well as the theoretical framework of art as a way of knowing self, other and God. Themes of trauma, self-harm, spiritual abuse, and body image were also explored. Through painting, poetry and presentation, the true self emerged and was transformed. Cut-off parts of self as well as a new identity of poet/artist/therapist were integrated into self-concept.