Barbara Dean

Welcome, and thank you for visiting my website.

There's never a right time to change a christian name, a first  name, the name you were given at birth, but I am changing my name, slowly; and although this website is still headed by my former name, friends and colleagues who know me will know that the christian name I am now using is Rebekah.

Home page photograph Pablo Goikoetxea, Tate Britain 2011

© Barbara Dean 2017

I am a live and visual artist, and I am an arts educator with a North London not-for-profit mental health organisation. I also lead the Paint & Performance workshops for artists and non-artists.

I am interested in notions of the therapeutic and consider my own arts practice as a therapeutic one; that's not to say I think it's therapy, but it asks the question, why do artists make art? I think that's an extremely relevant question for the arts in the 21st century.

It's a given understanding that the art making process is a therapeutic experience, both for the artist and the audience. However, if this is so, how does the experience become therapeutic without being or becoming a form of therapy?

Working in mental health, I often hear people comment on their experience of the art making process as being therapeutic; one individual said "it just seems to take you outside yourself". An inspiring response to water colour paint, particularly in terms of the body.

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