ART-BASED RESEARCH — A Proper Education
The basis of art-based research, art is the flowering of the maternally creative urge that has been repressed in our time. It is also the foundation of what Jung called a “proper education” and “the best safeguard against psychic illness in its manifold forms, which we call neurosis. Jung called for a “schooling” to “try to awaken the hidden artist who slumbers in every man,” adding: “Given him a chance to bring to light the pictures he carries unpainted within himself, to free the unwritten poems he has shut up inside him, and yet another source of psychic disturbances is removed” to “cleanse and release his psyche” (Jung, 1928, p. 45)
The cleansing of the soul that Picasso also spoke of is the purpose of this art-based approach—an approach that is for everyone. Jung “In everyone some kind of artist is hiding. Among savage peoples this is evident from the fact that the warrior decks his spear with feather or paints his shield. In our mechanized world this urge for artistic creation is repressed by the one-sided work of the day and is very often the cause of psychic disturbances. The forgotten artist must be fetched up again from the darkness of the subconscious, and a path cleared for the urge for artistic expression—no matter how worthless the paintings and poems may be that are produced in this way.” (Jung, 1928, p. 42)
Art, as Jung (1933) said is not an “educator” to breed “mass men” (p. 68), but a liberator.
“The importance of individual life may always be denied by the 'educator' whose pride it is to breed mass-men. But any other person will sooner or later be driven to find this meaning for himself." C. G. Jung, speaking of his art-based teaching