Mapping Ourselves, Mapping The World

by Christine Parton

This capstone project is an exploration of my development as an art therapist, through the facilitation of workshops designed to increase resilience by integrating a connection with nature and mapping a sense of self. Using the tools of nature exploration, art-making, writing and reflection, the quest is both public and personal. It follows the arc of the Hero’s Journey (Campbell 1968), cycles through the seasons and colours of the Medicine Wheel, and climbs the spiraling steps of self-transformation through the uncertainty, delicacy and endurance of time. The workshops are one way to find grounding and put dreams into tangible form, so that they can more easily be shared with others and achieved. This quest is also a pathway to self-discovery and resilience, as we individually and collectively come to understand the meaning of life in a world full of contradictions: ecological destruction and inspired conservation efforts, political unrest and cooperative innovation, spiritual disconnect and a renewal of faith and hope.