AFTER THE RUPTURE : Art as Soul Repair, (i)

I was invited by colleagues in India to contribute a paper to MIND & SOCIETY for publication mid-2022. I chose to write about an arts project that responded to an unedifying rupture in an organisation I once held in very high regard. I am grateful to the Editors for the opportunity to tell part of this story, and for those former staff, and former and current clients who chose to participate.

You can access the full article here. AFTER THE RUPTURE, Mind and Society

Over the next few weeks I will post a selection of the artworks and the interviews, so keep an eye out for them.

Anne Riggs PhD.   Art for Soothing & Strengthening.

ABSTRACT

This paper is about an arts project, The Forgotten People, undertaken in the first half of  2022 with a group of former clients and staff of a Melbourne sexual assault service which underwent an aggressive structural and cultural change that had profound negative effects on both. 

Whilst the service, and its parent, a major Melbourne public hospital, refused to engage in any form of respectful conversation addressing the pain their Carelessness was causing, a creative community formed to express their feelings in art.  Our aim was to create together, to initiate ‘soul repair’, to communicate with the health providers, and for the project to be of service in other organisations where client needs can easily be overlooked. 

It is a paper about the transformation of those involved from feeling isolated and intimidated by their experiences with the service and hospital, to feeling part of a collective of people doing something positive and uplifting as an act of Care. 

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This book tells of the thwarted attempts of an individual trying to have a conversation with Monash Health; then being part of this creative collective.

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