Setting the table

While working with Kyle Bernier and Kelly Baas at Thresholds, our first groups were largely based around specific materials. An important material for me as an artist are found materials, things that we are already surrounded by and have a command of. Part of the way that I make space as an Art Therapist is ‘setting the table’. I take images of table layouts of materials to re-imagine what is in front of us. I look from multiple angles at what is in front of us. How can I display what is found as something that is beautiful, something that is meaningful, something that has been presented with care. The above image is one of the series I took when setting up for our terrarium day. I gathered the moss, taking pictures of the locations. I laid out tools and each layer. I cared for these living materials before delivering them unto folx who may or may not take the same care.

The beautiful thing about moss is that it does not die. Moss simply goes dormant. Once the spores are in ideal conditions they come to life again. It grows with or without sunshine, it sustains even when we think it is no longer alive. It is a beautiful material to paint with, to care for, to enjoy texturally, and to cultivate. The process of art therapy and counseling is much the same. We are attempting to create conditions under which survival can become thrival.

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