Raw Material 1: Textile and Fibre Arts in Art Therapy


Artwork: Judith Scott, Sculpture 27 made from paper towels


An artwork by Judith Scott on http://www.artbasel.com


Above: A photograph of Judith Scott with her sculpture.

Artist Judith Scott 

“Judith Scott, despite the challenges of Down syndrome, profound deafness, and thirty-five years of institutionalization has recently been hailed as One of the most important artists of the twentieth century…Within the core of each piece might be hidden a special talisman of a significance known to Judith alone.  With unflagging intensity, Judith worked five days a week for eighteen years [at the Creative Growth Art Centre in California), producing over 200 cocoon-like sculptures which today are found in museums and private collections around the world”.

For more information on Judith Scott, please see the link below:



Photo: Daniela Monza



Photo: Bridget Nugent, Artist Journals

Artist Michael Swaine

Above: Michael Swaine, Mending for the People, You Tube

Article link about Michael Swaine’s Work, Mending clothes on the streets of San Francisco


“On the 15th of every month, Michael Swaine trundles into San Francisco’s Tenderloin district with a cart-mounted sewing machine—the old-fashioned kind, which you can only operate by means of a treadle. Setting up shop in a reclaimed alley known as the “Tenderloin National Forest,” as he has for the past 12 years, Swaine offers his services as a tailor, mending whatever clothing the neighborhood’s residents bring him for free. A performance artist, an inventor, and a professor of ceramics at California College of the Arts, Swaine sees opportunities for change everywhere. His current ambition is the construction of a free “mending library,” a place for “fixing the holes in our lives…to borrow thread and sewing machines and talk about life.” (Quotation: Amy DuFault, “Michael Swaine’s Free Mending Library Repairs Clothes, Community”)

Reading Suggestions

Article: “Stories in the Cloth: Art Therapy and Narrative Textiles” by Lisa Raye Garlock: in Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association.

Judith Scott, Artist Information 

Article: “The Well-Being of Women Who Create with Textiles: Implications for Art Therapy” by Ann Futterman Collier, Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association. 

Book: Using Textile Arts and Handcrafts in Therapy with Women: Weaving Lives Back Together by Ann Futterman Collier

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Photo: Finola McGreevy, Artist Journals

The following Raw Material blog posts are a series showcasing textile and fibre arts to inspire art therapy practice in this area. Please click on each post for images, reflections and references related to this material inquiry.

Raw Material Blog Posts, 1-11

Raw Material 1: https://territoriesofarttherapy.wordpress.com/2016/03/31/a-woven-community-fibers-of-touch/
Raw Material 2: https://territoriesofarttherapy.wordpress.com/2016/03/31/helio-oiticica-propositions/
Raw Material 3: https://territoriesofarttherapy.wordpress.com/2016/04/01/actions/
Raw Material 4: https://territoriesofarttherapy.wordpress.com/2016/04/19/raw-material-texture-nature-story-i/
Raw Material 5: https://territoriesofarttherapy.wordpress.com/2016/04/20/raw-material/
Raw Material 6: https://territoriesofarttherapy.wordpress.com/2016/04/30/raw-material-6-stitchlinks/
Raw Material 7: https://territoriesofarttherapy.wordpress.com/2016/05/10/its-never-too-late-to-mend/
Raw Material 8: https://territoriesofarttherapy.wordpress.com/2016/05/18/raw-material-8-performance/
Raw Material 9: https://territoriesofarttherapy.wordpress.com/2016/05/26/raw-material-9-sculpted-strands/
Raw Material 10: https://territoriesofarttherapy.wordpress.com/2016/06/10/raw-material-10/
Raw Material 11: https://territoriesofarttherapy.wordpress.com/2016/06/11/raw-material-11-sheila-hicks-material-voices/

Photographs of Woven Artworks by Stacie Sheeran (Below)

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Presentation by Philippa McAleer (Below)