Mim achieved a First Class Honours degree in Creative Expressive Therapies at the University of Derby, having studied from 2012-2015, specialising in visual art.
Creative Expressive Therapies (C.E.T) is an approach to working creatively with people in a way which encourages self-expression. The philosophy of C.E.T is to work with the healthy parts of a person - fostering an environment for play, imagination and creativity to thrive and grow. Linked to art therapy, C.E.T practitioners work with the outer layer, towards a creative experience that is liberating and therapeutic for those taking part - creating opportunities for meaningful art-making, with a focus on process over end product. Relevant themes which can be explored through C.E.T sessions include identity, self-confidence, communication, group and team work, self-expression and other areas of personal development. A wider and more general aim in Mim's C.E.T practice to encourage engagement in simple creative activities, with a focus on enjoyment, fun, and confidence in creative self-expression. Creative Expressive Therapies are for everyone, and the approach can be tailored to be effective, beneficial and relevant to the needs of a wide range of groups and individuals.
Throughout the Creative Expressive Therapies course, visual art students created personal creative expressive art projects, using art to support a process of self-expression and reflection. Below are some brief summaries of Mim's visual arts projects on the three year course.
Year 1's project explored grief and bereavement, the relationship with between the self and the fading memories of lost ones, and explored the distortion of memories. The artwork produced worked with a combination of experimental processes with photography, inks, silk paints, and cross-stitch, as well as other mixed media, and printing approaches.
Year 2's project, titled 'Image as Self', required each student to produce a body of work visually exploring some element of the self. Mim used materials from nature throughout this project, and began to look at natural processes and life-cycles. Photographing and layering images of the sky to capture change and movement, and preserving materials from nature indoors, as well as stop-motion videos of sand art being created and claimed by the sea, conveyed a sense of tension between holding on, capturing and preserving, and letting go.
Mim's final creative expressive project followed the brief of "Statement as Image". Photography, both digital and analogue, featured heavily in this project. Focusing on images of hidden places, hermit's caves and vague images of herself, Mim used dark room techniques and experimentation to create photographs which conveyed an ambivalence towards exposing personal artwork, and the self, to others, and to academic grading. Mim used a variety of old cameras to produce this work, as well as pinhole cameras. The camera and the dark room processing became a metaphor for the effect of exposure on creativity and the relationship between the artist and exposure of personal work.
These projects gave Mim an opportunity to widen her creative skills, develop as an artist, and to immerse herself in the creative expressive process. It also allowed her to gain a deeper understanding of how creative arts link to personal and emotional experiences, and can be used to explore and to heal; and it further encouraged the creative expressive therapeutic approach in her facilitation of arts workshops.
For creative expressive arts workshops, visit the 'Workshops' section of this site, or to discuss arranging one, contact Mim at firstname.lastname@example.org