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Experience of portraiture in a clinical setting: An artist’s story

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In this article the author reflects upon the challenges, rewards and learning he experienced as a portrait painter working on two arts-based research projects in hospitals. He describes how the relationships with the patients and caregivers who sat for their portraits generated new realizations for artist and model. Although initially resistant to the notion of art as research, his profound experiences co-creating with people portrayed, convinced him of the healing values and therapeutic benefits that artistic practices have in abundance. Portraiture, here, served as a bridge that brought the two worlds of art and medicine together.

Keywords: art as healing; arts-based research; care; challenges; illness; portraiture; relationship

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Nebraska Medical Center

Publication date: June 1, 2014

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  • The Journal of Applied Arts and Health serves a wide community of artists, researchers, practitioners and policy-makers evidencing the effectiveness of the interdisciplinary use of arts in health and arts for health. It provides a forum for the publication and debate within an interdisciplinary field of arts in healthcare and health promotion. The journal defines 'health' broadly which includes physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, occupational, social and community health.
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