Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

I’m a great fan of bibliotherapy, defined in the ‘Online Dictionary for Library and Information Science’ as:

‘The use of books selected on the basis of content in a planned reading program designed to facilitate the recovery of patients suffering from mental illness or emotional disturbance. Ideally, the process occurs in three phases: personal identification of the reader with a particular character in the recommended work, resulting in psychological catharsis, which leads to rational insight concerning the relevance of the solution suggested in the text to the reader’s own experience’.

And bibliotherapy has a long pedigree:  The ancient Greeks, for example, held strongly to the belief that literature was essential to fostering psychological and spiritually well-being.  By posting a sign above their library doors describing it as a place for “healing place for the soul”, the centrality of this notion was, and still is, clear for all to see.

In a fascinating interview with Dr. Paul Coombe, British psychiatrist Dr. Raj Persuad examines the intriguing question: ‘Was Shakespeare a Psychotherapist’?

Paul Coombe has an impressive pedigree.  He is a psychiatrist and individual and group psychoanalytic psychotherapist in private practice in Melbourne, Australia. Formerly Consultant Child Psychiatrist at the Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne, Dr. Coombe was also a Senior Registrar in Psychotherapy at the Cassel Hospital, London for a number of years. He is the Immediate Past President of the Australian Association of Group Psychotherapists and member of the Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Association of Australia.

Last year Dr. Coombe published a paper in the International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies entitled ‘William Shakespeare as a Psychotherapist’. In his interview with Persaud, Coombe points out that thousands of people flocked to watch Shakespeare’s plays because they connected so deeply with their life circumstances, and they function much in the same way today.  Worries, anxieties and existential crises presented the full complexity of life’s challenges and still talk to us in contemporary society.

Moreover, Dr. Coombe reiterates the rather startling claim that Shakespeare ‘invents’ the modern human by creating characters such as Hamlet; the existential nature of their discourse, which comprises an exploration of their inner lives and conflicts. By following this line of logic, Shakespeare paves the way for us to grapple with our own issues, and in so doing, he can therefore be seen as a trailblazer for what we understand now as psychotherapy.

You can listen to Drs. Coombes and Persuad talk about this fascinating subject here:

As we reflect upon the growing unrest and sectarian strife in the Middle East, at first glance it seems so difficult to find signs of hope. Consider, for example, the situation in Tripoli, one of Lebanon’s most divided cities, where sectarian antagonism chokes civic society and precludes the intermingling of Alewites, Sunni’s and Druze among others.  That Lebanon is the most religiously diverse country in the Middle East makes the situation on the ground, as it currently stands, even more devastating and far-reaching.

But there is hope.  And not surprisingly, it is the younger generation that are pointing the way to a new future, where inclusion is the watchword.  Journeyman Pictures has made an excellent short film focusing in on two young rappers/hip-hoppers and how their innovative project is providing a powerful message that religion and ethnicity should be no barriers to genuine friendship and co-operation.  One is a Sunni, the other Alawite, inhabiting different warring neighbourhoods, their love of music and dance transcends all man-made boundaries.

“We present to people the art of Tripoli. An art that has never been about guns, bullets, killing, blood or wars“, says one of the young men. “They sing for women’s rights, the environment, children, Tripoli against sectarianism and violence.” says another.

May there be many more like them, following their example and seeking innovative ways to promote peace and understanding.  The world is a better place because of them.

You can watch the film here:

Looking Inwards Front Page

On Saturday 13th July the publisher (The Crystal Bard Press) will be offering the kindle edition of my second book – Looking Inwards: A Bipolar Journey – as a free download via Amazon.

‘Looking Inwards: A Bipolar Journey is a collection of abstract art, photography and poems by Scott Peddie, a minister and scientist who, after years of suffering from depression, has recently been diagnosed with Bipolar Affective Disorder. 

The poetry, which is often agonising, always tender and thoughtful, reflects Scott’s experience of living with this complex condition and follows on from his first book, Embracing Imperfection. 

The abstract art and photography is a very personal reflection on the variable emotions that characterise the inner life of an individual living with this condition. 

The author royalties from the sale of this book in Kindle format are being donated to Aware Defeat Depression NI, an organisation that offers practical help to depression/bipolar sufferers and their families’.

You can download the book from Amazon UK here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00B36UBYU ….and via this link if you live in the USA: http://amzn.com/B00B36UBYU

Looking Inwards: A Bipolar Journey is a collection of abstract art, photography and poems by Scott Peddie, a minister and scientist who, after years of suffering from depression, has recently been diagnosed with Bipolar Affective Disorder.

The poetry, which is often agonising, always tender and thoughtful, reflects Scott’s experience of living with this complex condition and follows on from his first book, Embracing Imperfection (also available from Amazon).

The abstract art and photography is a very personal reflection on the variable emotions that characterise the inner life of an individual living with this condition.

The author royalties from the sale of this book in Kindle format are being donated to Aware Depression NI, an organisation that offers practical help to depression/bipolar sufferers and their families.

Looking Inwards Front Page

You can purchase the kindle edition at Amazon in the UK here or via Amazon in the US here.

Reuben Margolin is an incredibly talented  kinetic sculptor, crafting beautiful pieces that move in various patterns, including raindrops falling and waves combining.  Margolin’s installations are as dramatic as they are mesmeric, reflecting an art-form that is meditative and almost spiritual, inspired as it is by maths and nature. Amazing.

You can see Margolin talk about his work in a recent Ted talk:

From my bipolar blog: As part of my journey through art therapy, I’ve been reflecting on my time working as a marine biologist, eventually trying my hand at drawing two of my favourite fish – the Trout and the Angel Fish. As always, I’ve introduced an abstract element to each……quite what it means will require further reflection on my part!

Bipolar Art!…….Revisited.

I’ve uploaded the latest piece of my ‘bipolar art’ on my other blog site ‘An Uneasy Awakening’.  Click on the link below to access it:

Bipolar Art!.

Stained Glass Reflections

Posted: April 12, 2012 in Art, Contemplation
Tags: ,

Here is a photo I took a couple of days ago of a stained glass window at Culross Abbey in Scotland. It is a beautiful reminder of the Easter message – Christ is not on the cross; He has risen, and as a result, hope abounds!

 

Here are three pieces I put together recently as an extended reflection on what the emotions that accompany the various phases of bipolar disorder (as experience by me) look like. They are 1) the turmoil of post-hypomania, 2) confused reflection and 3) hope for a brighter, and calmer, future.

via A Snapshot of Emotions.

As I’ve made reference to in the last number of postings, as part of my treatment, I’ve engaged in some ‘art therapy’ where I attempt to express my emotions without words.  For some reason, the end result tends to be what could loosely be termed as ‘abstract art’; I’m not quite sure why that’s the case with me!  Anyway, here are my latest drawings – a ‘trinity’ of faces, each with different thoughts running through their minds; I’ve collectively called it ‘The Three Faces of Bipolar Disorder’ and uploaded it to my bipolar blog (An Uneasy Awakening).  I hope it makes sense!

via The Three Faces of Bipolar Disorder.