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The Army Art blog shares stories, news and the latest research from clinicians, service providers and contemporary Australian artists.  It's all about art practice, creative self expression and arts engagement for wellbeing.

Creative Insights: with Donna Betts

~Michelle Saleeba This interview with Donna Betts, PhD, ATR-BC Clinical Research Advisor with the American Military's Healing Arts Network is jam packed with links to websites and books for you to explore creative healing further. We are also introduced to Donna's personal creative practice through the beautiful lace knitting images. Of particular interest is the inspiring work Donna undertakes with Creative Forces® who provide support for American service personnel who have experienced traumatic brain injury and psychological injury as a consequence of service. The video clip mid post demonstrates the work of the creative therapists, shares the stories of injured veterans and highlights th

Creative Insights: with Louise Mustard

~ Michelle Saleeba Perth artist and art therapist Louise Mustard joins us for this week's Creative Insights conversation, which I have to confess is a written down version of our not regular enough chats about all things creativity, art therapy and counselling. In fact, it was these wonderful sharing of knowledge and experiences conversations that inspired this blog series! I hope you enjoy Lou's insights and artwork as much as I do. Michelle Saleeba: It has been said that creative work is fundamentally tied to our sense of vitality and wellbeing. Why do you think this is? Louise Mustard: It is natural for humans to express ourselves creatively. From very early history it has been an impor

Tanya Cole: Creativity Mentor

~Michelle Saleeba I had the great privilege of becoming acquainted with artist and art mentor Tanya Cole during an art therapy professional development program that we both embarked upon some years ago. Her knowledge, enthusiasm and positive outlook was infectious, and I've watched with great pleasure as her own art practice has gone from strength to strength over the past few years. I was super excited to see Tanya's entry in the Archibald prize for portraiture in 2018 for her painting of the equally remarkable and inspiring Dr Tracy Westerman. MS: Why art? TC: I drew a lot when I was younger and dearly wanted to study fine art at Curtin Uni however my dad persuaded me to go into the Scien

Warship

~ Michelle Saleeba This incredible work of art Warship - the Glorious Decline of the Officers' Library by Jo Darbyshire is on display at John Curtin Gallery until March 10th, 2019. Commissioned to mark the 100th anniversary of the Armistice in November 2018 the installation in the shape of Australia's first submarine the AE1 is created from 300 book covers 'rescued' from the disbanded Royal United Service Institution (RUSI) of WA Library. The RUSI of Western Australia was founded in Perth in 1902. The Institute sought to improve the education of Service Officers by promoting the study of strategic and defence matters and included a comprehensive library. The ‘found’ books that make up the i

Carol Rowling: creations from chaos

~Michelle Saleeba Picasso once said In order to create you must destroy and this is exactly what artist Carol Rowling does. Carving into layered canvas with power tools, destruction is the primary act of creating her striking interpretations of the Australian landscape. Carol's work explores aerial landscape, the view you get looking out of a plane window at 35,000ft down through the layers of clouds to the shapes, patterns and colours below. A perspective Carol derives endless inspiration from on her frequent East - West flights. Back in her shared North Perth studio Carol uses reference photos and starts to construct landscapes, creating texture by painting with power tools as much as pi

Creative Insights: with Juliet King

~ Michelle Saleeba I'm super excited to be sharing this fascinating Creative Insights Q&A with you. Juliet King is an Adjunct Professor of Neurology in the Indiana University School of Medicine, and holds the position of Associate Professor or Art Therapy at George Washington University. Professor King’s research seeks to understand creative expression and its effects on the therapeutic process using imaging techniques. I hope you enjoy this extensive, insightful meander through the interconnected worlds of brain science, art therapy and creativity with one of the leading researchers across these fields. Michelle Saleeba: It has been said that creative expression is fundamentally tied to o

Alex Maciver: Art with a Social Conscience

~ Michelle Saleeba Deep thinking and reflective with a strong social conscience, and a roguish sense of humour, artist Alex Maciver's years of hard work and authentic engagement with subject matter are really paying off. Split tone backgrounds, and incorporating both representational and non-objective elements in oil, acrylic and spray paint give a distinctive signature to Alex's current work. Alex has a number of high profile exhibitions coming up throughout 2019, including Over the Hill on until March 3rd at Buratti Galleries. MS: Why art? AM: As a teenager, I began going to Life Drawing classes at the evenings and the weekend instead of hanging around the streets. From there I took a fur

Ways to be More Creative in 2019

~Michelle Saleeba Another new year is upon us and in amongst those resolutions to get fit and fabulous we are hoping you made a resolution to get more creative. There’s an impressive body of established and emerging literature on the topic of creativity and wellbeing, suggesting many advantages to participating in arts based activities. Purported benefits range from enhanced subjective wellbeing to maintaining quality of life while promoting healthy ageing, and being a general mood improver. Possibly one of the best findings is that you don’t have to have high levels of skill for it to be beneficial and act as a stress reliever. And of course there is a large amount of research to show t

Creative Insight: Art Therapy for PTSD

~Michelle Saleeba A sensitive and insightful documentary, produced by Paul McNamara of Channel 4 News in the UK, exploring the benefits service personnel experience from using Art Therapy as a formal intervention for post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It is important to acknowledge that PTSD isn't only related to experiences of combat or service. The prevalence of PTSD in the general Australian population is estimated to be between 5 and 10% over the lifespan (see, Phoenix Australia). And according to research conducted by Karestan Koenan, professor of psychiatric epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health, far more women than men will experience PTSD. Research continues into

Christophe Borrel Ducroz: en plein air

~ Michelle Saleeba In 2017 Christophe Borrel Ducroz participated in the Portrait of a Veteran project. He had as he describes it, "the great honour of painting Peter Aspinall", the State President of the RSLWA. This was an incredible project run by Comet Bay College, a school with strong ties to the Australian Defence community and supported by the RSLWA. Last year Army Art was pleased to have Christophe as a major exhibitor who generously donated the proceeds from the sale of his beautiful work "Pinky Bay, Rottnest Island" to assist our defence charity fundraising. Christophe's painting Pinky Bay Rottnest Island on display at Army Art 2018 I caught up with Christophe for a chat after the e

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