Radical Papermaking: A Socially Engaged Art Therapy Practice
Denise Wolf, MA, ATR-BC, associate clinical professor, Creative Arts Therapies Department, and art therapist and educator Gretchen Miller facilitated a radical papermaking workshop at the national American Art Therapy Association conference in Minneapolis in November. This workshop explored ways to implement papermaking in art therapy as a socially informed practice in art therapy through didactic and experiential learning.
As a creative practice, papermaking has become an art-based method for social action, community engagement, advocacy, and culturally relevant issues (Cochran & Potter, 2014), chronicling the reconstruction and expression of personal and communal experiences (Delamater, 2019). Papermaking activates a process of deconstruction and reconstruction to birth something new (Wolf, in press). Art therapists are increasingly utilizing papermaking and its process as an intervention for art therapy, influenced by its sensory-based and transformative properties for promoting emotional expression, fostering self-awareness, or managing recovery, loss, and trauma (Matott & Miller, 2020; McMackin, 2021). Papermaking also supports creative, relational dialogue, a critical element to material use in therapy (Dean, 2014).
References • Cochran, J., & Potter, M.H. (2014). Social Paper: Hand Papermaking in the Context of Socially Engaged Art. Columbia College Chicago Center for Book and Paper Arts. • Dean, M.L. (2014). Using art media in psychotherapy. Routledge. • Delamater, K.L. (2019). Historical, social, and artistic implications of collaboration in contemporary hand papermaking. Hand Papermaking, 34 (1), 11-16. • Matott, D.L. & Miller, G.M. (2020). Papermaking. In P. Crawford, B. J. Brown, & A. Charise (Eds.), The Routledge companion to health humanities (pp. 311-316). Routledge. • McMackin, M. (2022). Hand-papermaking with student veterans. In R. Mims (Ed.), Art therapy with veterans (pp. 57-77). Jessica Kingsley Publishers • Wolf, D (in press). Papermaking Reflections: Stories of Change, Growth and Creativity; Transformation in Papermaking: When Content Mirrors Process. In Matott, D., & Miller, G. (Eds.) The Art and Art Therapy of Papermaking: Material, Methods, and Applications. (pp. #-#). Routledge. NY, New York