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  • MichaelD


    Our State and national galleries run regular guided tours and discussion groups for elderly people and those suffering from dementia. Folks who never usually speak become quite the chatterbox and are quite animated.

    Our Australian National television station airs a program called ‘Everyone’s a Critic’.
    The basis of the show is that pairs of diverse people ( age, gender, cultural group, LGBTQI, disabled etc ) are shown a set of paintings in a museum/gallery setting and their interpretations and responses filmed.
    What is clear is the huge range of opinion cast on any one painting. After only a few minutes of discourse everyone starts talking about their feelings and emotional responses to the works. Laughter, tears, anger, sadness are all on display. Hugely therapeutic for the participants and the viewing audience.

    On the other side of the coin the British Museum research shows that the majority of visitors spends seven seconds looking at an object or painting.


  • Thats a great idea, the guided tours. I know a guy that has lost his sight and he sometimes goes on specific guided tours that some galleries provide for the blind and the works are described to them.

    Unfortunately I would have been lucky to get 7 seconds when I tried to see Van Gogh`s Sunflowers at the National in London a couple of years back.. Silly me thinking I would at be able to take some moments of meditative viewing with perhaps the occasional stepping out of the way for someone else.

    It was like a continual paparazzi frenzy with a conveyor belt of couples and groups of natives and tourists all getting selfies of them and the painting. 

  • Interesting article thanks @dencal. Those with personality disorder can be very challenging to work with, a fellow nurse and I were discussing this only the other day.

    It wasn't actually my question, I had just put the title of the article I had linked to there  :)

    I have a few ideas on why it may be therapeutic for some though.

  • No disrespect to my European friends but on the matter of the SEVEN SECONDS viewing time in London I think it is wise to consider that so many of the visitors are on a tour of the city's finest museums and attractions as part of a European tour rushed from one attraction and one country to the next and therefore harried and tired and just feeling bludgeoned with culture. My Mother was on such a tour and could have been the inspiration for the movie "It's Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium". She went again a few years later without a package tour and enjoyed it immensely more and although she didn't see as many attractions, she was able to enjoy things an a much personal level. All in all though, I agree wholeheartedly that art IS therapeutic to just about everyone and part of the therapeutic benefit is not worrying about WHY it is good therapy.
  • edited June 5
    Art therapy works because it takes us out of ourselves. 
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