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Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Drawing under Hypnosis and HOME Talk

For my fourth session drawing under hypnosis at Goldsmiths, University of london in collaboration with Devin Terhune I attempted to 'draw happy'. The emotional states I explore and capture in my drawings tend to be more about difficulty than joy (though happiness has appeared in work made about my son Jackson). Perhaps it is harder to articulate happiness, for fear of descending into visual cliches, or perhaps I don't feel the need to explore and communicate it as much? As a psychologist Devin has always been keen throughout our collaboration to keep an eye on where I am going in the hypnosis, to steer clear of any real darkness. So I thought it would be good, here in the context of working with Devin and hypnosis to give 'joyful drawing' a try.

The Last Swim

I always come to the sessions with a scribbled list of things I would like to do, places, emotions, or words I would like to focus on under hypnosis and therefore within the drawings. Devin and I then talk through them to see which could work well under hypnosis. This time I came armed with a list of happiness; making Jackson laugh hysterically by tickling him, my last swim in the sea....

Colour has become more present in my work as a whole, helping me to better represent emotional states, memories and sensations. I used Bright neon pink pastel to draw tickling Jackson and hearing him laugh. While doing this drawing I remember grinning, on the verge of laughter myself as the tickling and laughing felt so real for me, I even began to tickle the paper, as you can see in the fingerprint marks that make up the bottom of the drawing.


As my Arts Council England Research and Development Project 'Drawing as Experience' comes to a close, of which this collaboration forms a part, Devin and I have got into a really good rhythm of working together. Devin has a good understanding of what I want from the drawings, and makes suggestions along those lines or even to get me out of my comfort zone. My knowledge of hypnosis and other aspects of psychology is coming along too. It has been a great collaboration which we hope to continue.

Left hand hard, right hand soft

Earlier this year I was invited to give a talk about my drawings made while under hypnosis at HOME for their quarterly show and tell event.

Talk at HOME

You can see more about my drawings made under hypnosis here 

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