Some key thoughts and questions so far…
There is a strong link between mental well-being, forming meaningful affective connections, and engaging with emotions and the present moment. Stories and narratives connect us to and help us ‘make sense’ of the world, and thus one could argue that storytelling and narratives are crucial to our mental well-being.
People form affective connections between objects, moments, and other people through personal storytelling. Objects become part of our narrative identity and they can hold especially significant meaning in difficult times.
Observing someone else’s creative process instinctively connects the observer with the process at a subtle neural level (Franklin 2010, p. 161). Which means that including the viewer in the creative process can create a moment of empathy between the artist and the viewer.
Most art therapy forms seem to be quite one-dimensional, usually focusing on only one medium such as painting, sculpture, or drama.
How could artistic expression help people suffering from poor emotional well-being connect with themselves and their surroundings while also raising awareness about mental well-being in the general public by helping them empathise with the creator of the art?
How could then co-creation between artists, people dealing with emotional distress, and the audience be used to create moments of self-reflection and empathy?
How could fragments of peoples’ affective stories be turned into a narrative landscape with an immersive nature?
What kind of therapeutic possibilities could combining several art forms in a self-reflective creative process open up?
How could a combination of narrative creation and different creative mediums such as costume, performance, and photography be used in a therapeutic way?
What could a therapeutic process of creating personal portraits and/or narratives with costume, objects, and performative elements look like?
Or, how could creating personal symbols and narrative landscapes support affective well-being…?