As an art therapist I pursue public practices of art making that compose gathering places as studios of engagement. I am an artist who uses readymade environments as the foundation for activating public and collective artforms using found and natural materials. I am a lecturer in the area of art therapy and creative health and co-editor of Polyphony: Journal of the Irish Association of Creative Arts Therapists. As course director for the MSc Art Psychotherapy course at Ulster University, Belfast School of Art, I have been promoting studio practices promoting the walking studio, environmental art, festivity and the making of ourselves at home. The theme navigating new territories is integral to my work as an art therapist, particularly in relation to subjectivity in production within multiple locations. This relates to the topic of my doctoral thesis on the art of movement responding to the philosophical collaborations of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, in particular becoming in a plane of immanence as an intensive living with possibility and what can be multiplied onwards.
About Pamela Whitaker
Articles with Pamela Whitaker
Dr Pamela Whitaker is an art therapist living in Ireland who practices under the name of Groundswell, a social enterprise working in the areas of art therapy, art and participation, environmental arts, and arts and health. She has written ‘Groundswell: The Nature and Landscape of Art Therapy in Materials and Media in Art Therapy’ (edited by Catherine Hyland Moon) and ‘The Art Therapy Assemblage in Art Therapy and Postmodernism’ (edited by Helene Burt).
This is an article about land art that constructs habitats of refuge or survival shelters. The art of constructing forest sanctuaries, as a form of social media, is a resourcing of found materials transformed into personal and social places of significance. Amidst COVID-19 restrictions, nature became everyone’s place to be and public parks were an essential commonplace for combining and finding a place apart to come together. What emerged in the forests of Phoenix Park, Dublin was the construction of landmarks for protection and solace. As bushcraft and public artforms, these dens act as declarations of personal security and social constructions, occupying both a boundary and an invitation. They are landmarks for solitary pursuits and social encounters—transformative locations for introspection and the communal sharing of a forest.