The Journal of Media Arts and Cultural Criticism
Nov/Dec 2001, Volume 29, No. 3
PhotoTherapy: Travelling Behond Categories
by Lori DeMarre
Like the late Jo Spence, my work requires that I travel across borderlines that define the regions we think of as art, therapy, art therapy and photography, yet I do not fully belong to any one of these. As a photographer with a Masters degree in psychology with a focus in phototherapy, I occupy liminal spaces between numerous disciplines. I regularly explain to the curious, the dubious and the sincerely confused exactly what my “work” is and where it fits within different communities. How I define myself often depends on who is asking. Again like Spence, my profession does not fit neatly into predefined categories, and so I variously describe myself as a photographer, an artist and more often, a phototherapist.
My focus lies somewhere within the spheres of what is commonly thought of as art and therapy. If it were an art project, my work would take the form of a collage and would be more about the process of creating the collage versus the end product. However, the end product might be exhibited as art. My work becomes more like therapy when I create a safe space in which to facilitate for others an exploration of self-image, self-expression and even sometimes healing.
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