In 2006/2007 I conducted my first in-depth, but non-scholarly, “research” project through art by creating an installation of screen prints inspired by the Thematic Apperception Test. I wanted to acknowledge differences of individual experiences and interpretations.
First, and foremost, I was inspired by the children I worked with as a teaching assistant in a private elementary school in Lawrence, KS. It was my first experience working with children in a professional setting. However, I remained for three semesters, because the children I worked with triggered a playful imagination I had lost touch with. Being an art student, and I must say I knew very little about art therapy at this point, I always encouraged creating. The story-telling that took place while my students were drawing was fascinating. Also, they’d comment or elaborate on each others images.
After some preliminary story collecting, some in-depth research on projective tests, and a few months later, I had created my own TAT series with five screen printed images for participants to respond to. I didn’t record the number of participants, but the ages ranged from 5- to 45-years-old. This piece was displayed at the University of Kansas in 2007.