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Exploring the Museum’s Images – Exploring My Image

25 November 2016

Curator, Elisabeth Ioannides and Psychiatric Occupational Therapist & Art Psychotherapist, Aphroditi Pantagoustou tell us about a pilot art therapy group starting at the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens.

 Haris Epaminonda, Untitled #09p/g, 2012, EMST, Inv. No 864/13

The National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens (EMST) inaugurates an innovative pilot program on the application of art psychotherapy through an experiential approach to art. The contribution of art in the development of critical thinking, the recollection of personal experiences, on the cultivation of self-expression, dialogue and cooperation through representative contemporary artworks, will be the objective of this program. The Museum space will provide the opportunity for participants to engage with the exhibited works of art and with works that they will create themselves.

The art psychotherapy program titled Exploring the Museum’s Images – Exploring My Image is designed and implemented by Aphroditi Pantagoutsou, Psychiatric Occupational Therapist, Art Psychotherapist at the A’ Psychiatric Department of the University of Athens, Aiginition Hospital and Elisabeth Ioannides, EMST Curator and is realized in collaboration with Professor G. Vaslamatzis of the A’ Psychiatric Department of the University of Athens.

Twelve sessions will be realized, once a week, in the Museum’s space. Participants will have the opportunity to get to know and discuss about a different artwork each time that belongs to the Museum’s collection and then they will create their own works which will be discussed. The initial sessions will be held in the current exhibition titled Urgent Conversations: Athens- Antwerp, a co-production of EMST and the Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp (M HKA) (31/10/2016 – 29/01/2017).

The benefits of the gallery space as an inspirational creative therapeutic environment and the discussion of the artworks per se as well as the lives of the artists will be the incentive for further personal exploration. The aim of the group is to involve participants in this community group, further develop their interests and give them the opportunity touse art media, the creative process, and the resulting artwork to reflect on their feelings, thoughts and experiences, build up their ego-strength, foster their self-awareness, reduce anxiety and increase their self-esteem through art making.

The program will be realized from January 11 to March 29, 2017, every Wednesday from 12.30 to 14.30 for a closed group of 10 people.  An open call was made and for the selection of the group members interviews are currently being held with the coordinators of the group. 

If you’d like any further information about the project please contact Elisabeth Ioannides at elisabeth.ioannides@emst.gr or Aphroditi Pantagoutsou at aphroditi66@gmail.com.

You can also visit the Museum’s website at http://www.emst.gr/en/pilot-program-on-group-art-psychotherapy/