Art Therapy & Teaching

Art speaks truths that words can’t

Often those truths are ones we don’t even realize are within us or that we are lost until they are spoken.

What does that mean?

A severely autistic child in a group of 60 Grade 3/4s I taught, did a self-portrait using the tools I had given him, taken from Picasso.  It was a piece that left his teacher, his education assistant, his therapist and his mother in tears.  His head was angular, three scalene triangles layered, huge triangular ears protruded from the sides of his head and eyes were giant empty saucers, voids in the canvas absorbing all light.  A nose, simple demure triangle sat in the centre of the head.  He had no mouth and no hands.  (The assignment was to do a self-portrait of our inner truth in the style of Picasso to include hands.). Art told the world how he perceives it, how it comes at him so loudly and so brightly it hurts him.  That he is unable to speak and the lack of hands, for him, was a way of explaining his feeling of helplessness.

Art quite frankly is the key to release and tame the demons that haunt us all.