Creative Encounters: Arts as Culture / Arts as Therapy? Psyche in the Arts Research Network Symposium

psyche-and-the-arts-networkWednesday 3rd July 2013

The University of Northampton School of the Arts

Avenue Campus

St. George’s Avenue

Northampton NN2 6JD


Creative-Encounters: PDF Download it.


Throughout his life, Jung’s experiences of art making clearly had a significant influence on the development of his psychology. The tensions between creative imagination and scientific procedure were central to his work as he sought to develop an effective method by which to help alleviate the psychological problems of his patients in therapy.

Taking this ‘tension’ as a creative encounter in itself, the symposium will aim to critically examine the perceived relationship between art as therapy and art as culture. It will take as its starting point the proposition that all artistic expression, when viewed from a psychological perspective, contains both personal and transpersonal imagery and expression, mediated by the specific qualities inherent within its material, form and content.

As cultural expression, emphasis is on the collective, where art making and its appreciation centers on cultural values and needs — engaging both viewer and artist in an imaginative relationship reflecting shared, culturally situated and experienced, exigencies and values.

As therapeutic expression, emphasis is on the personal, the psychological condition of the individual. Here art, and its imaginative lining, assists in developing spiritual and emotional wellbeing and/or resolving psychological trauma.

Issues concerning both art and therapy therefore raise important questions:

·  Is this separation between the personal and the collective so clearly defined in terms of the aims and objectives of each?

·  Are these two contexts to art making mutually incompatible?

·  What factors, within both contexts, are common to both?

·  Where does art begin and therapy depart — and visa versa?

·  How might mental health issues and art appreciation impact on attitudes towards aesthetic / cultural values in general?

·  What determines ‘good’ art and ‘bad’ therapy — and visa versa?

Symposium Agenda

9.30-10am: Coffee and Registration

10 – 10.45am: Keynote Speaker

Margaret Pikes, Roy Hart Theatre (France/Germany)

“The Inner Artist – Personal Reflections on Roy Hart’s Voice Work”

10.45 – 11.15am: Keynote Q&A

11.15 – 12.15pm: First Panel

Prof. Jane Bacon, University of Chichester (UK)

“The Embodiment of Spirit: Authentic Movement and arts making”

Dr. Michael Evans, University of Northampton (UK)

“Process Painting as Psychic Defence or Meta-Therapy?”

Dr. David Parker, University of Northampton (UK)

“Painting as Process: Image and Imagination as Therapy in Culture”

12.15 – 12.45pm: Panel Q&A

12.45 – 1.30pm: Lunch

1.30 – 2.30pm: Second Panel

Dr. Rachel Karafistan, COSmino Theatre (Germany)

“Imagination and the Shaman as Healer”

Iami Rebouças Freire, Federal University of Bahia (Brazil)

“Ulterities – Alterity, Uterus, Ulterior: A specular methodological approach to devising performance based on the actor-spectator/character-persona-person dialectic”

Dr. Patrick Campbell, University of Northampton (UK)

“Tracing the Transcendent Function in Post-Grotowskian Theatre”

2.30 – 3pm: Panel Q&A

3 – 3.30pm: Coffee

3.30 – 4.10pm: Third Panel

Dr. Natalie Pilard, University of Aberdeen (Scotland, UK)

“Between cultural and psychological art : Art Brut through the example of Giselle’s automatic drawings “Femmes-objets””

Stephanie Spindler, Contemporary Artist (UK)

“The Search for Meaning: exploring the common denominators between art and therapy”

4.10-4.30pm: Panel Q&A

4.30-5pm: Concluding remarks

Psyche in the Arts Research Network

“by actively attending to the inner imagery one is giving life to the Self”

(C. G. Jung, 1931, CW16, paragraph 106)

Psyche in the Arts Research Network (PARN) exists as a forum for critical debate, sharing and interrogation of ‘depth experience’ and arts/performance practice and research. It will be of interest to Jungians, arts and performance practitioners/scholars and all those interested in what we could call the most profound and meaningful aspects of arts practice. We aim to engage in and develop new modes of speaking and theorising from the experience of psyche and the processes of creation.

Psyche in the Arts Research Network was founded by three academics/practitioners  Prof. Jane Bacon (University of Chichester, movement/video), Dr David Parker (University of Northampton, painter) and Dr Michael Evans (University of Northampton, painter), in the hopes of inspiring debate and exchange in and beyond the academy on the inter-relationships between arts practices and various notions of psyche.

Booking and Accommodation

Attendance at the symposium is FREE, however spaces are limited and must be booked in advance by contacting Dr. Patrick Campbell at: Patrick.Campbell@northampton

There is a range of accommodation available in Northampton. There are some options listed below otherwise please visit the following website:

The Langham Hotel

Conveniently situated a short walk from the town centre, this hotel is minutes from the town’s mainline railway station and within easy access of business and industrial estates.

Best Western Lime Trees Hotel

The charming appearance of the hotel’s Georgian frontage and the mews courtyard at the rear are matched by the immaculate bedrooms, fine restaurant and cosy bar.