One of the pillars of art therapy is its viability to express without the use of words. Why is this so important? Well, because of the structure of our brain.
The left side of the brain is used for verbal communication and is the rational part of the brain, whereas the right side comprehends images and processes emotions.
Emotions are on the right side of the brain and sometimes they exist within the unconscious mind in the form of images. That is why it is easier to express using abstract forms of representation rather than trying to put into words what you feel.
These abstract forms are generated on the right side of the brain. In this way, art therapy helps you express using your instinct and creating your own representation of your reality. You don’t have to struggle to synchronise your heart and head, just let the right side of your brain express anything it wants.
That’s why it is important, in art therapy, to look for nonrepresentational forms of expression, to look for tools that can be used by the right side of your brain, tools that do not need to be explained, and that arise from your instinct and/or your emotions.
Nonrepresentational forms of art are more effective because they are an experience, rather than a communication. You don’t think when you express, you just act without noticing that you are letting go of your worries and problems.
“Children can feel but they cannot analyse their feelings; and if the analysis is partially effected in thought, they know not how to express the result of the process in words.” Jane Eyre-Emily Brontë
One of the main forms of nonrepresentational art is colour. It lets you express without judgement, without thinking, using only your instinct. Just remember to analyse it after you are finished with your expression.
Next week there will be more forms of nonrepresentational art!
What do you think about colour? Do you use colour without thinking?
Leave your comments below.