Nelson and Tasman.
My arts or creative practice (including details about my specific focus within that art form/practice and my strengths)
As an art therapist I combine an artistic background in visual communication, with a passion and personality for work at a community level. I practice a client-led, strengths-based therapeutic approach for children to make meaningful artwork, with a wide variety of visual art materials, in a safe and trusting environment. I facilitate change to resolve challenging thoughts, behaviors, and emotions through my clients' process of communicating creatively and expressively in a non-verbal way, and their honest reflection about their work. Telling stories and reintegrating new stories with new outcomes to facilitate the possibility of change. Art making is fun, playful, relaxing and cathartic, it is both accessible and a powerful form of communication and transformation. Art therapy is very well suited to the changing biological needs of developing children and teenagers. My strengths are the use of visual art materials; painting, drawing, sculpture, photography. Classes can be directed to suit the needs of the child or left not directed and child-led.
My track record of experience and success - or the track record of experience and success of the creative or artist that I will partner with
I have delivered a successful art therapy programme for a primary school in the UK. I have delivered a successful art programme involving preschool, primary school, and high school students for the purpose of making art for a music festival site, UK. I have specialist training in Art Therapy, and an undergraduate degree in Visual Communication with additional professional development in therapeutic, crisis and suicide interventions including mental health first aid for young people, ASIST, self-harm, solutions-focused brief therapy, sand tray therapy, and narrative therapy. I am currently doing a trauma-informed art therapy and trauma-informed expressive art therapy course. I have participated in flax weaving and oil painting workshops recently and have specialist training in photography. I have worked in primary schools, youth custody and private practice as an art therapist.
Describe the experience you have had working with children or young people, teaching or facilitating creative processes
I have worked with children and youth with disabilities in both care work and support work. Supporting clients to live independently, increase social skills and social engagement. I have worked with primary schools, youth custody and private practice as an Art Therapist, in a creative context to facilitate creative expression and discussion to help resolve challenges young people were facing. I have delivered a successful art programme involving preschool, primary school, and high school students for the purpose of making art for a music festival site. I have taught art classes over a range of age groups including preschool and primary school age. I am passionate about working with children and youth and will only work with this client population, I have worked with children as young as 5 to teenagers who are 19 years old.
Why I want to be part of the Creatives in Schools programme and how my involvement will link to my creative practice
I believe in the capacity for art to heal and am driven professionally by my interest in the mental health and well-being of our younger generation. My professional development is driven by my interest in neuroscience, mental health and art therapy, for children and adolescents. I believe that early intervention is the key to empower and develop self-confidence in children to enable them to become the best individuals they can be. I believe an art-based therapeutic intervention in a school environment can help achieve this goal and support school students that are facing challenges to become more resilient in the long term. This programme will also help to bring community and national awareness to my creative therapy practice, that is emerging within New Zealand, and evolving worldwide. I will develop personal and professional relationships with students, teachers, parents and families in my community.