During this week’s Methods & Materials class, students created conjoint paintings on sheets of acetate. The purpose was to gain skills which could potentially be utilized with their clients.
Student dyads were brought through a relaxation and visualization. Afterwards, they chose partners, through non-verbal communication and painted what they envisioned on an acetate sheet.
Each dyad developed well integrated pictures without the benefit of verbalization. Being engaged in the process of making images, each student pair was able to look at their manner of handling the task, particularly at the way they relate to each other when creating a piece of artwork together.
This sort of communication, or lack of it, is a way to explore patterns of relating. The painting provides an illustration of how the content may also be an expression of social and relational dynamics. The symbolic significance of the painting may represent the life space of each participant.
Conjoint painting on acetate can illuminate not only a particular response pattern but also issues of territoriality. The process of development of the joint picture illustrates the importance of observing that process, rather than simply looking at the finished product.
The joint painting provided insights for each of the dyads about ingrained patterns of relating. Awareness of these patterns can empower individuals to change these ways of relating if desired. Brief discussion of attachment theory and of personal mythologies ensued after reviewing the paintings.
The shared spontaneity of creating can foster a sense of pleasure in experiencing the creative process, in connecting with peers, and perhaps in lessening isolation. Conjoint painting on acetate can be utilized with various populations including but not limited to couples, some psychiatric clients, school-aged youth with socialization challenges.
Photo Credit: Naysha Stone (Class of 2014)