We are looking at artworks as remedies during these strange times.
We all bring something different to art when we look at it, so we decided to create a living gallery which will grow with new artworks over the coming weeks and months, and which you will be able to engage with in a number of ways.
If you are creative, you can devise a response to any of the pieces on our gallery walls – poetry, fiction, non-fiction, spoken work, performances, drawings … the list goes on. We are accepting entries at email@example.com. You can read and listen to some of the responses we’ve had so far through the gallery.
If you prefer to engage in conversation, there will be a forum coming soon. The Hundred Heroines Café will provide a safe and constructive space to share ideas and comments on a number of topics surrounding the Cabinet of Remedies exhibition and the arts more broadly. Watch this space …
So, welcome to our evolving gallery. We hope you enjoy the experience and take something away from it. Click on the icons in the galleries for more information and the responses.
The premise for Cabinet of Remedies was born out of the work of Alain de Botton and John Armstrong in their book, Art as Therapy. They introduce a new criterion for judging art – one that places its values in its therapeutic benefits. For them, ‘the main point of engaging with art is [that it serves as] a tool that can correct or compensate for a range of psychological frailties’ (p.64).
Living through the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic is fraught with wide-ranging issues – and perhaps triumphs – for all of us, whether individually or collectively. Our responses to it might reveal our strengths and also our frailties.
If art can be a catalyst to help us ‘investigate’ ourselves through challenging times, we wanted to explore the ways it might, as suggested by Botton and Armstrong, help us to:
empathise with sorrows
aid in self-understanding
help us grow
re-sensitize us to what we have become numb
If any of the artworks serve one (or more) of the seven therapeutic functions for you, and you’d like to share your thoughts with us, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you.
Art as Therapy
Art as Therapy by Alain de Botton and John Armstrong, published by Phaidon Press, 2013.
Alan de Botton on Art as Therapy, The School of Life, Sunday Sermons (2013) available on YouTube