Countless works of art have been created about art as therapy. Countless pages of literature and poetry have been written –monumental plays have been put on time and again, -epic musical compositions have been conceived –countless canvases have been painted with incredible zest… Luckily, the list goes on and on.
By whom, you ask?
By human artists who sought their own self-healing through the inexhaustible expressive means of art.
The close relationship between art and healing is not a speculation. It can be documented in various ways – through mythology and science.
According to the ancient Greek tradition, the Muses were the daughters of Zeus and the Titaness Mnemosyne. Zeus – the power of eternal progress – copulates with Mnemosyne and begets art! Subsequently, the Muses commit to the service of Apollo, as does Chiron.
The muses – music, painting, poetry, theatre, literature, dance,.. – carry inside them their father and mother, our past and future. They make us dream and feel nostalgic at the same time.
Through art, our forgotten sensitivity is creatively stimulated and leads us to the most hidden aspects of our existence. The Muses exist in order to remind us of our divine origins and to move us so as to return there, someday. Art literally breathes life into us and humanises us.
The ability to remember and identify with something larger than oneself is one of the most powerful skills of Human-artists who travel to the depths of their existence to draw their creation.
At the same time, art as therapy also dominates modern intellect. John Armstrong – philosopher, scholar and art theorist – and Alain de Botton – author and founder of “The School of Life” – in their book “Art as therapy” boldly declare that “art has one clear purpose: it is a therapeutic tool that helps us experience our lives more fully.”
They also identity, describe and document seven functions of art: “Memory, Hope, Sorrow, Rebalancing, Self-Understanding, Growth, Appreciation”..