Thinking about children’s art production in assessment settings – developing a more socially oriented hermeneutic

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Dr. Robin Tipple


My aim in this brief talk is to open debate on the hermeneutic or interpretative frames that adults use in relation to children’s art production by presenting a small part of a much larger research project concluded in 2011 (Tipple, R. A. 2011). I want to suggest that a hermeneutic that is more socially and culturally orientated might help us in understanding the art production in therapeutic and clinical settings in fresh and helpful ways. As well as helping in appreciating the subjectivity of children who are undergoing assessment, this fresh approach might help us understand our own subjectivity in institutional contexts and how this impacts on the practices we, art therapists, adopt, and the art work that is produced in the presence of the art therapist.

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