Mixed media (acrylic on canvas, recycled fused glass sculpture, natural scents)
1 x 1.3 m installation
Self-enlivening power of artmaking: impact of art therapy of older adults living with progressive illnesses in residential medical rehabilitation in Singapore.
This thesis explores how artmaking in art therapy can provide self-enlivening experiences to older adults who are living with progressive illnesses in residential medical rehabilitation in Singapore. From experiencing emotional distress and having difficulties coping, older adults, through artmaking were observed to develop emotional self-regulation, the ability to express difficult emotions and derived new meanings to manage challenges. A qualitative practitioner-led study, through multiple-case vignettes, investigated the therapeutic factors that might have led to this psychological reawakening. Findings show art therapy provided an opportunity for timely reflection and meaning-making during the transformative rehabilitative period. Art materials and creation provided sensory stimulation, rekindling memories of strengths, social relations and resilience within a safe therapeutic space. Culturally informed artmaking deepened the trust and mutuality experienced during therapy, leading to therapeutic alliance and change. The process of strengths consolidation, emotional re-harmonisation, and being connected to a larger purpose enabled older adults to transcend above current circumstances. This thesis suggests that further research be conducted on the sustainability of enlivening outcomes and how cultural adaptation of art therapy through inclusion of cultural symbols and stories can further enhance the transformative power of artmaking with Singaporean older adults undergoing rehabilitation.
2019 – 2020
Art therapist intern at a community hospital
Provided art therapy interventions for older adults undergoing medical rehabilitation and palliative care.
Art therapist intern at a primary school
Provided art therapy interventions for students, aged 7–12, at a pastoral care and counselling centre.