Working in the outdoor environment creates a different atmosphere than working in a studio. Out in the world, the unknown can be an essential asset. A variety of materials can be found and used, a multitude of interactions can occur, and experiences are created. To prepare for working outdoors, the SVA MPS art therapy students were shown a variety of examples of land art, as well as introduced to the idea of physical graffiti.
Physical graffiti can be described as a physical movement in a public space. It is a way of enacting art and making a statement that can be seen by by other people. At The Glen, a large park outside of Cork City Centre, the students engaged in their own collaborative acts of physical graffiti. In groups of 3 or 4, the students initiated a dialogue about various aspects of society and how they feel about it. They each came up with their own words of social protest, a piece of land art, and together developed choreography relating to their pieces.
The incorporation of the world at large (literally through the environment and figuratively through dialogue) opens up bigger discussions to be explored through art therapy. Collaboration with others initiates this opening and expands the initial thoughts of an individual. Working directly in the environment also creates an ephemeral piece that can shed light and embrace the natural order of things. Art therapy embodies discovery and working with others in a public space can further alter perspectives which can lead to new discoveries.