Art Therapy in Australia

Taking a Postcolonial, Aesthetic Turn

Art Therapy in Australia: Taking a Postcolonial, Aesthetic Turn explores and enacts established and emergent art therapy histories, narratives and practices in the specific postcolonial context of contemporary Australia. It is the first published book to attempt to map this terrain. In doing so, the book aims to document important aspects of art therapy in Australia, including how Australian approaches both reiterate and challenge the dominant discourse of art therapy. This book is as much a performance as an account of the potential of art therapy to honour alterity, illuminate possibilities and bear witness to the intrapsychic, relational and social realms. The book offers a selective window into the rambling assemblage that is art therapy in the ‘Great Southern Land’.

Contributors are: Jan Allen, Bronwyn Davies, Claire Edwards, Nicolette Eisdell, Patricia Fenner, John Henzell, Pam Johnston, Lynn Kapitan, Carmen Lawson, Sheridan Linnell, Tarquam McKenna, Michelle Moss, Suzanne Perry, Josephine Pretorius, Jean Rumbold, Victoria Schnaedelbach, Lilian Tan, Jody Thomson, Jill Westwood, Amanda Woodford, and Davina Woods.

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  • An Introduction of Sorts or All Sorts of Introductions
  • 1 Taking a Turn
  • 2 Towards Indigenous Australian Knowing
  • 3 Desire and the Desert
  • 5 Crossing Bridges, Sowing Seeds
  • 6 Hybrid Creatures
  • 7 Abject Creatures
  • 8 The Work of Art Therapy
  • 9 Where Knowing and Not Knowing Touch
  • 10 From Broken Circles to Different Identities
  • 11 Talking You Talking Me Talking Aborigine
  • 12 Inter-mission
  • 13 A Conversational Model of Art Therapy
  • 14 Material Sensibility
  • Epilogue: A Letter to Art Therapists of the Future
Andrea Gilroy, Emeritus Reader, spent thirty five years as an art therapy educator, researcher and, latterly, senior manager at Goldsmiths, University of London. She has published widely. Between 1994 and 2007 she was occasionally an educator and researcher at the University of Western Sydney.
Sheridan Linnell is Associate Professor of Art Therapy at Western Sydney University, Australia. She takes a collaborative, arts-based and feminist new materialist approach to art therapy as a practice of social justice, within the context of postcolonial Australia.
Tarquam McKenna is a Professor at Deakin University in Melbourne. He is keenly interested in arts research methods and their applicability to shared global Indigenous knowing. He is an honorary life member of ANZATA.
Jill Westwood, Ph.D. (2010), Western Sydney University, from 1995-2007 was Course Coordinator of the MA Art Therapy and GD Expressive Therapies at that university. She is now Programme Convenor of the MA Art Psychotherapy, Goldsmiths, University of London.
List of Illustrations
Prologue by Bronwyn Davies

An Introduction of Sorts or All Sorts of Introductions
Andrea Gilroy, Sheridan Linnell, Tarquam McKenna and Jill Westwood

1 Taking a Turn: An Image-Led Dialogue between Creative Arts Educators and Practitioners in Melbourne, Australia
Jan Allen, Jean Rumbold, Victoria Schnaedelbach, Amanda Woodford and Lilian Tann
2 Towards Indigenous Australian Knowing
Carmen Lawson, Davina Woods and Tarquam McKenna
3 Desire and the Desert: Moving between Inner and Outer Landscapes
Josephine Pretorius
4 Psyche Nullius: Reflections on Art, Psychotherapy and Psychiatry Down Under
John Henzell
5 Crossing Bridges, Sowing Seeds: Becoming an Australian Art Therapist
Claire Edwards
6 Hybrid Creatures: Art Therapy Education in Australia
Jill Westwood
7 Abject Creatures: Exploring the Relationship between Art Psychotherapy and Contemporary Art
Suzanne Perry
8 The Work of Art Therapy: An Immersive Visual Analysis
Jody Thomson
9 Where Knowing and Not Knowing Touch: Contemporary Art as a Mode of Research, Subjective Transformation and Social Engagement
Sheridan Linnell, Suzanne Perry, Josephine Pretorius and Jill Westwood
10 From Broken Circles to Different Identities: An Exploration of Identity for Children in Out-of-Home Care
Michelle Moss
11 Talking You Talking Me Talking Aborigine: A Paper for the International Forum on Education in Correctional Systems in Australia, 'Learning for New Life – Not Just Doing Time'
Pam Johnston
12 Inter-mission: An Enactment of How Art Psychotherapy and Narrative Therapy Shaped Teamwork and Therapeutic Practice in a Community-based Counselling Service for Young People in Western Sydney
Sheridan Linnell
13 A Conversational Model of Art Therapy
Nicolette Eisdell
14 Material Sensibility: A Sense of Place in Art Therapy Practice and Theory
Patricia Fenner

Epilogue: A Letter to Art Therapists of the Future
Lynn Kapitan
About the Contributors
All art therapists, students and educators interested in the ‘Great Southern Land’. The editors embrace the ethics of difference as they consider the histories of contemporary art therapy in Australia.
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