Holywood Beach


Student Dissertation, MA Art Therapy, Crawford College of Art and Design. 

I have received permission from Rashika to include her thesis on our class blog. Please refer to Harvard Referencing style for citing a thesis, if you wish to reference her research.

An Exploration of the Role of Ecology as an Alive Artistic Medium in Image and Process in Art Therapy  by Rashika Kahapola Arachchi.

Link to Rashika’s Thesis Below:

Rashika Thesis

Organising the Trip

When we arrive in Holywood, we will meet at The Dirty Duck Pub which is located at 2-4 Kinnegar Road, Telephone: 028-9059-6666. The Dirty Duck is very close to the Holywood Train Station. When you exit the train station, turn left and the pub will come into view.

Holywood is a seaside town just outside of Belfast, which can be reached by train. The train journey time is approximately 10 minutes from Lanyon Place Station.

Students are asked to make their own travel arrangements to our meeting place, and you will have time to organise this

Please wear and bring along the following on Wednesday, January 30th

1. Clothing for all weather possibilities.

2. Outdoor and waterproof walking shooes.

3. Waterproof gloves, for example gardening gloves or gortex gloves as you may be gathering rocks, using seaweed or other found objects.

4. Sketchbook, pens/pencils/graphite or similar for writing down words and drawing images.

5. A fully charged phone or camera for taking photographs.

6. Optional: thermos with warm beverage and a snack.

1. Contributions by Pamela Whitaker, A Beginning and an Ending 

We will start the afternoon with a reflective walk from The Dirty Duck to our art making site on the beach (photos of this site are included below). This will be similar to our walk at Belfast Castle, but it will incorporate the idea of “drawing with words,” combining words with sketching along the walkway beside the beach. As before this will be a silent walk. We will share words gathered along the way, as a spoken word presentation at the end of the walk.

At the end of the afternoon I will be closing the session with a group exercise that relates to extending ourselves into the landscape and making life proposals for the year ahead.

The Nature of Art Therapy Blog


Nature and Art Therapy References



Nature and Therapy: Understanding Counselling and Psychotherapy in Outdoor Spaces by Martin Jordan

Metaphors we Live By

Below is a video featuring a presentation by Professor George Lakoff, where he is explaining the metaphors we live by. His work relating metaphors to lived experience was the basis for our spoken word presentations, which explored how idioms and metaphors are an inspiration for expressive writing and narrative with art therapy.

2. Contribution by Colin Sims

Amongst Ralph Waldo Emerson’s many memorable phrases, we find the oft quoted

“Live in the sunshine, swim the sea,

Drink the wild air’s salubrity”

It will be the last part of that phrase that concerns us at Hollywood Beach (sorry no swimming just yet) – “Drink in the wild air …” .

We will be exploring and responding to what is brought to us on that wild wind, firstly through our breathing and then by incorporating our voice as a way of echoing, emulating or responding to our surroundings.  Initially we will be working individually and then in small groups.

3. Contribution by Caryl Sibbett

Caryl will be exploring found materials and features of the beach landscape from an eco art therapy perspective. “Ecotherapy is a nature-based therapeutic approach that is informed by ecopsychology. It can support wellbeing and help create better relationships with nature, ourselves and each other” (www.kairosconsultancy.net).


“A review of nature-based interventions for mental health care” Published by Nature England. Link for Download: http://publications.naturalengland.org.uk/publication/4513819616346112

The Mental Health Benefits of Nature Exposure