Can Exhibiting Art Works from Therapy be Considered a Therapeutic Process?

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Jon Martyn


This article considers issues relating to the exhibiting of art work that has been made within art therapy. It looks at the marginalisation of exhibiting in the development of the profession in Britain and its wider use outside of the UK. It reviews the arguments which support it whilst considering contentious issues, such as patient permission and the exchange of money, within the context of neo-liberalism and austerity. Drawing from experiences of facilitating a therapeutic art studio for refugees and asylum seekers, the paper goes on to propose an approach which takes into account the criticisms made of exhibiting patient art work and utilises a psychodynamic approach to the exhibition as a therapeutic process.


Keywords: asylum seekers, refugees, exhibitions, social art therapy, neo-liberalism, austerity.

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