As an art therapist, the visual aspect of my practice is key to responding to clients; through the artwork they make, the artwork I might make in response and how I work with visual clues in their communication between myself (the therapist) and their art. In art therapy this is referred to as the tripartite relationship. This year has seen a new direction in my painting practice as I attempt to explore this relationship through portraiture. Capturing the gaze of another’s face has been a learning curve in technique. The attentiveness and patience required to learn a new skill and remain committed to the process has been equally rewarding and frustrating.
Our first experience of another looking at us will be of our mother’s gaze, what we see in others and how we reflect our emotions back to them, begins with the maternal gaze and this relationship shapes our experience of being human. For ‘scapegoat’ I will be creating a portrait of Pan, originally a greek god of nature considered half goat half man, his distinctive features later became associated to that of the devil, the christian scapegoat for all that is evil.
I will also be working on an interactive installation that enables the audience to consider how it might feel to have false projections placed upon them, which is often the experience of the person who feels scapegoated. In therapy supporting clients to understand how others perceptions of them leaves an emotional imprint on the self, can be key to overcoming painful past and current experiences.
T. Andrew, July 2015.
"Tanya Andrew’s art practice encompasses a wide variety of media but more often takes the form of painting, which is central to her work.
Tanya is an artist who is drawn to the idiosyncrasies that surround us, her work questions how we make sense of these and relate to them in a wider social context. Tanya’s main themes throughout her work focuses on containment, boundaries and interrelationships.
In her abstract paintings Tanya will often work with eco pigment powders, in recognition of the potential for environmental change. The paint will be applied with coffee stirrers and bank cards, two essential consumerist commodities of modern culture. Thus the media and application of it seem to contradict one another. These juxtapositions interrelate on the canvas, where Tanya looks to counterbalance a contemporary predicament, the over consumption of Earth’s resources to satisfy capitalist needs. Her work reflects an existential struggle through abstraction.
Tanya is influenced by the ideas of the deep ecology movement and as an art psychotherapist is interested in the notion of an ecological self, the cultivation of identification with our natural surroundings as a further stage in our maturation process".