The idea of reconstructive art for therapeutic purposes is take an object associated with something emotionally painful, to take this object apart and to then reconstruct it into something else. This serves as a way of engaging with and releasing difficult emotions in a constructive and manageable way. There is also the possibility of creating something positive from the painful object.
Since being made redundant in 2013 I have not attempted to seek another paid job because of my difficult feelings around the redundancy and going into a new workplace. I’ve now reached a stage where I feel willing to engage with these feelings, and have started to use my art work to do this.
I have chosen to do some reconstructive art using my P45. For those outside the UK, a P45 is a tax statement that you receive on leaving employment providing details of your last employment and a form to populate with details of your new employment. Just coming face to face with this document reduced me to tears but I was able to continue to work with it, allowing my emotions to emerge as needed.
I first shredded the page which contained the details of my last employment. I’ve written the words “The past” on top.
I next moved on to work with a page about future employment. I decided to depict the uncertainty of the future in the picture. I also felt able to go closer to some of the difficult emotions by keeping and highlighting some of the painful phrases from the page.
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