1st Edition

Art-Care Practices for Restoring the Communal Education, Co-Inquiry, and Healing

    288 Pages 68 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    288 Pages 68 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book contributes to a larger global call to radically re-create ourselves—to transform our fear and alienation from art, Nature, and ourselves. With compassion and grace, the co-authors outline how everyone may access the gift of Spontaneous Creation-Making and change dominant narratives of individualism. Discovering interconnectivity through art-care we can dream courageously together into the unknown possibilities of a precarious future.

    Art-care, as coined by the co-authors, is a matrixial form of communicaring through art and reverence. This theoretically informed and practice-based book bridges the individual with the communal in Creation-centred ways that interweave the many parts with the whole. It provides examples of teachings, practices and spontaneous creations of makers that will benefit those who want to integrate art-care into individual practices or group facilitation. This book benefits socially engaged artists, arts-based researchers, artist-philosophers, activists, students, teachers, organizers, therapists, caregivers, and more.

    Foreword: Bracha L. Ettinger;  Preface;  PART 1: Communidreaming on Theory;  1: Introduction: Art-as-Process;  2: Care-in-the-Making;  3: Creativity-in-Communion;  4: A Story of Collaboration: Spontaneous Creation-Making;  5: Art-Care and Spiritual Activism in a Time of Crisis;  6: Beyond Method: Matrixial Mediators;  7: Birthing a Matrixial Gift Economy;  8: Matrixial Time Freedom;   PART 2: Spontaneous Creating on Practice;  9: Spontaneous Creation-Making: Communal Rituals and Expanding Imaginaries;  10: Spontaneous Creation-Making: Orienting Intentions and Body Grounding;  11: Spontaneous Creation-Making: Responding and Closing the Circle;  PART 3: Gestating on Service;  12: Nurturing a Communal Art-Care Practice;  13: An Arts-Based Reenchantment: Following Nature;  14: Afterword: Forging New Intersections by Geraldine Burke;  15: A Turnabout Postscript;  Appendix 1: Thirteen Matrixial Aesthetic Practices;  Appendix 2: Facilitating Art-Care Online;  Appendix 3: A-D-ness Model by R. Michael Fisher;  Appendix 4: Excerpt from Opening Doors: A Guidebook to Spontaneous Creation-Making;  Appendix 5: Participant-Informed Research Creation Consent Form


    Barbara Bickel is a ritual-centred artist, researcher, teacher and Emerita Faculty of Art Education, Southern Illinois University and co-artistic director of Studio M*: A Collaborative Research Creation Lab Intersecting Arts, Culture & Healing.

    R. Michael Fisher is a visual-performative artist, researcher, teacher and education consultant, and director of In Search of Fearlessness Research Institute and co-artistic director of Studio M*: A Collaborative Research Creation Lab Intersecting Arts, Culture & Healing.

    How lovely and inspiring to read this remarkable work of art / artistry, creativity, community and consciousness of connecting and interconnectivity. This work offers an aesthetic / creative, emancipatory caring pathway for human healing during and after a pandemic crisis. This book invites and evokes fresh new insights, where wisdom is discovered and co-created from within and among circles of caring.

    Jean Watson, PhD, RN, AHN-BC, FAAN, LL (AAN)

    Founder Watson Caring Science Institute

    Distinguished Prof/Dean Emerita University of Colorado Denver, College of Nursing

    This engaging book both describes and performs a group’s artistic journey during the challenging times of COVID. Experiential, communal, playful, and moving, the book points at possibilities and opportunities for aesthetic explorations and artistry within a special space. Co-inquiry through Spontaneous Creation-Making offers everyone a compelling journey of art-making, aesthetic explorations, along with ideas for facilitation and communal care serving the future.

    Liora Bresler, Ph.D. Professor Emerita, University of Illinois, College of Education & School of Art and Design, Urbana-Champaign

    Bickel and Fisher present us with a guidebook for connection and healing through the practice of spontaneous art-making, a practice they themselves have been involved with for many years. This is a hopeful book based on their experiences—art not as escape but as engagement both with ourselves and those around us. Caring, compassion, community: these are the roads the world always needs more of, and this book offers a unique way of starting the journey.

    Eva Tihanyi, author of The Largeness of Rescue, Flying Underwater: Poems New and Selected, and Truth and Other Fictions.

    I am very impressed by Barbara Bickel and Michael Fisher’s articulation of the art process, community, and especially their collaborative spirit! They are both so very inspiring! Their book feeds the soul with artistic methods and prompts that reawaken the senses through play and observation.

    Dr. Katrina Plato, registered art therapist and educator

    This book weaves together theories, practices, images, text-based forms, and 30 years of work to offer insights into creative communal practices that co-authors Bickel and Fisher call Spontaneous Creation-Making (SCM). Through this compelling and timely guidebook we are invited to enter sacred, mysterious and playful borderspaces that lead us to deeper understandings and more nuanced explorations of art-care methods but also, for example, of community, creativity, healing/wholism, (un)learning, and inquiry. This is an important resource for anyone who is interested in engaging with and/or facilitating spontaneous creation-making processes, even in virtual contexts. This book is a gift!

    Kathy Mantas, PhD. Professor, Schulich School of Education, Nipissing University, Ontario, Canada