Trauma and illustration, picturebooks that explore trauma through narrative, does this narrative require text or is it enough for the illustrations to speak alone to the viewer. In allowing the illustrations to stand alone, does it allow the viewer to create their own narrative, align their own experiences within the narrative of the illustrations, or does the text give them a foundation in with they can build their narrative from and again align to their own personal experiences.
Reflecting on my Art Therapy clinical work, it is focused on providing a space where emotions and experiences can be explored using art as the narrative, as words can be to hard to find to truly express how the client is feeling. In Psychology Today a article Children’s Art as Visual Narrative, Malchiodi (2014) states,
“We now know that non-verbal expressive arts like simple drawing, painting and constructing are effective restorative experiences. Language, a function of declarative memory, is often inaccessible to trauma survivors of any age if the event has been particularly disturbing.”(Malchiodi 2014)
“I’d also been increasingly aware that illustration is a powerful way of expressing of feeling as well as ideas, partly because it is outside of verbal language, as many emotions can be hard to articulate in words. I thought it would therefore be interesting to produce an illustrated book that is all about feelings, unframed any storyline context, in some sense going ‘directly to the source’.”(Tan, S, n.d)
As my works shifts and changes, I am sure so will the use of text, with some work needing more and some requiring less or even none at all. It feels as though it will be subjective to each work produced, and not a exact template for each book or even each page.
- Malchiodi, M (2014) ‘Children’s Art as Visual Literacy’, Psychology Today online. [online] Available at:http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/arts-and-health/201410/children-s-art-visual-narrative?utm_content=buffercb6bb&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer [accessed 16th December 2014]
- Tan, S (n.d) Shaun Tan, Picturebooks.[online] Available at:http://www.shauntan.net/books.html [accessed 16th December 2014]