Visual Truth: A Series on the Honesty of Art
In 2005 Stephen Colbert coined the word “truthiness” and it still mischievously pops into my head when I witness discussions where no real facts seem important. As an art therapist I probably honor intuition and perception as much as anyone so it might seem a little incongruous that I find some smirky delight in truthiness.
Actually, because I do deeply honor intuitive knowing and messages from psyche, I have some sensitivity to the differences between inner knowing and cold hard facts. Which brings me to the truth, or honesty of art, where we can witness and appreciate the externalization of inner knowing that can render facts irrelevant. A child might draw an image of a lion chasing her through her house. The power of the image isn’t altered because we both know there is no real roaring lion in her home. The truth of that art statement doesn’t depend on the facts about where lions live.
The honesty of art can feel as sharp and impermanent as a flash of lightning. I trust the truth of the art for the artist in that moment. Tomorrow’s art truth might be different, which doesn’t mean today’s is not true.
It is in that spirit of honoring creative truth that we asked the most recent Capstone class participants to write artist statements for the murals that they created. Over the next few weeks I’d like to share their art and the words they chose to describe their art.
Through the Looking Glass
Our mural is an exploration into the transformational process that has been our wonderland-like journey through the looking glass of Southwestern College. This consciousness transforming mural illustrates such themes as death, rebirth, a sense of humor, release of control, passion for the field of art therapy, reflection, disintegration and integration, connection to the collective, groundedness, creativity, and the acceptance of all aspects of ourselves.
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