Art Therapy Modalities | Clay & Ceramics

Kali by Barbara Hall
Kali ~ Barbara Hall

From the artist: Kali is the Hindu Goddess whose name translates as"dark" and "time". She represents the Mother from whom all are born and to whom all return. For me she reflects the truth of life and death, their connection and our call to be present with the dark and light , birth and death as a continuous and full circle journey. The mirror that she holds in this image/sculpture reflects back her call to me to accept all that is.

Some clients are not as visual in their orientation as others; instead, they are more kinesthetic . They relate to the world more through the sensation of touch, rather than sight or sound. This is one of the reasons why a tactile/three dimensional process, such as ceramics, can be so powerful.

The clay pieces portrayed here emerged from a session with a directive that was simple and open-ended. The participants were asked to embrace the paradox of wholeness and fragmentation. Out of this directive came several powerful, middle aged, goddess figures.

Each of us has had the experience in childhood of playing in the mud, enjoying the sheer sensual pleasure of thrusting our hands deep into damp earth or some other material like it, with no particular goal in mind. We did not do it thinking of anything special, we simply enjoyed the purely tactile sensation of having wet mud in our hands, the joy of manipulating a soft, malleable material, of poking our fingers into a thick squishy mass, and constantly changing its shape of progressively shaping it into forms. . . .This impulse, spontaneous and instinctive, can become a kind of game, and it must have been something akin to this that our young ancestor experienced, playing in the mud thousands of years ago, as he/she discovered the possibility of creating an infinite number of different objects. (Molteni, 1992, p. 9)

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