In 2015 I created a teachable framework for artists to become more sanely comfortable working with “dangerous” content.
Making art, the artist must spend a lot of time with the subject matter. If the subject matter is painful, or overwhelming, or is something intractably painful as reported by popular news media, how do we tolerate studying it for awhile, to make art from it?
I taught this step-by-step method to a small group of undergraduate and graduate art students at Northern Illinois University when I was a visiting artist this fall. Each artist adapted the method to their own use pretty much immediately, identifying places where they “get stuck” with the content, or when and how they allow the content to give them too much stress.
Further discussion with other art teachers point to how useful this framework may be for creatives struggling with the ‘safe space’ discussion.
I would love to be able to bring this workshop to more art departments in 2016! I am not so skilled at “how to apply to be a visiting artist” and would love to get better at that, so I can teach more of this to more people.