The signs in life

Ignite Life
April 6, 2014

They say a picture says a 1000 words, Ignite life will explore this idea for the entire week as it’s one of the reasons why art therapy is so effective.

Last weekend when I was teaching at Ikon I asked for a song request. “Free” by Rudimentals was the choice and while I have cranked up the radio to this song many times, I had never seen the film clip. The thing that struck me was how the visuals added depth and meaning to the story rather than just the words alone. The symbols and metaphors within the film clip add symbolic meaning and layers of information.

I am not suggesting that you put on a winged suit to get the feeling of freedom and flight as that can happen metaphorically (during an art therapy session). The man flying through the air paralleled with the eagle can represent a number of things. It could be about unleashing from the binds of bullies, breaking free from mental anguish or taking that leap of faith and doing what you are destined to do, it can have so many different meanings.

And this is what happens in the art therapy – shapes, colours and textures represent something in your world – it’s not about representing the literal thing but using images to communicate. It’s something that we use every day as makes it easier to tell the story by giving descriptors that are easy to understand.   For example when people talk about the ‘roller coaster of emotions’ they are not talking about an actual roller coaster but describing their emotions as being up and down, scaring and joyful etc.

Symbol and metaphor are so powerful that I want to demonstrate how meaning is everywhere – so I declare this Eye Spy week. Every night this week there will be some images posted here that I invite you to comment on. Maybe they evoke a certain feeling or memory. They could be a sign or have a message for you – the point will be that symbols and metaphors are full of meaning and that can be different for everyone.

I can’t wait to get started and will post something at 9.00 tonight. In the meantime watch the film clip and list all the symbols and metaphors you see in ‘Free’. There are some rippers in this clip and would love to hear your thoughts.

Here to a week full of symbolics meaning, and am so excited about eye spy.



PS if you feel like you would like to post a pic for comment that would be fab – the more the merrier!