Thursday, 17 April 2014

You Are Never Too Old For A Teddy Bear

The focus of my artwork is adult regression. I am interested in the links between a child comforter and how it may relate to adult life in terms of mental health and the benefits it has in relation to human expression. A child’s soft toys become their friends; they confide in them and seek comfort from them when they are sad or separated from their parents.

‘Teddy Bear Therapy’ is used with a wide range of people with mental health conditions such as bipolar, chronic depression and anxiety. The intention of this form of therapy is for the patient to buy or make a teddy bear, give it a name and some form of identity with the objective of becoming emotionally attached. The role of the soft toy/teddy does not change when a patient is being treated for a mental health condition with the use of ‘Teddy Bear Therapy’. It is often the case that the patient is emotionally closed off and cannot even discuss or express his/her emotions to even their therapist, which is why the teddy is so effective. The teddy replaces the therapist, and then becomes their friend and the teddy ends up becoming the object that the patient confides in and gains comfort from by expressing their raw emotion without the intrusion of what they may feel as judgment. 

This is Mattie bear, isn’t he a cutie?

Mattie is completely hand made, the fabric too. I used image-maker to transfer inkblots of my face onto cotton, making him completely personal to me. I take him everywhere with me, which has got me quite a lot of attention while I do my weekly shop in Tesco, I must look rather strange walking round with my bear on my arm. Anyway I have subconsciously created a bond with this object and have become rather protective of him. I lost my cat recently and Mattie has been a great comfort to me. I am now evaluating if it is the relationship I have with the bear that is the artwork or is it the bear himself. He is pleasing to the eye but does he say what the purpose of his existence is or does he need my interaction to have his purpose?

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