art & ethics

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art & ethics

Art and brain relation for healing emotional wound

June 25th, 2015 · No Comments · Uncategorized

IMG_5045Our brain perceives art and gets emotional appeal which can help healing from emotional pain. Art is considered as beauty, but brain is an ‘organ of soft nervous tissue contained in the skull of vertebrates’ definitely a complex part of our body that controls us (Brain). Think of art and you will come up with beautiful, colorful images yet think of mind and come up with complicated functions. Keeping eye on every move we take brain also keeps its eye in our emotional puzzle. It is a part of our brain that ignite the beauty of art for us- after seeing an artwork whether we feel happy, sad, angry, fuzzy all these comes from our very own mind, and we can combine both Art’s beauty and Brains function to help people get rid of emotional pain.

If we know a lot about brain then definitely we can heal a lot of its problems and art does that for us, as Vikan said: “When you’re doing art, your brain is running full speed,” Vikan said. “It’s hitting on all eight cylinders. So if you can figure out what’s happening to the brain on art, you know a whole lot about the brain.”

A part of our brain ‘Limbic system: that works for emotions, motivation and learning’ (limbic) is the reason why we get emotional or motivated just by looking at an art work. The emotion we experience through art also depends upon our own experiences. Drawing your own pain or happiness can make you feel good: still one cannot guarantee that a particular art can heal your emotional pain because some chances are it may increase. But yes, there are many artistic way through which we can help healing emotionally tortured people.

Some peoples around the globe are currently using these techniques. For example: in the article “Art therapy with trafficked women” written by Lydia atira tan, she has mentioned about how she used art to help healing trafficked women’s who were brutally tortured and emotionally lost their interest in lives, but when she made them draw their emotion and share it, after some time the women’s actually became more confident and started to think about living new life. One ­women draw her river of life in some pictures, in one of those picture she drew herself being sexually assaulted, “in a later image she drew a mandala to represent her experience of being trafficked and working as a sex worker” (Lydia). “She drew a symbol of a sinking boat, to describe her feeling of drowning. She also drew a picture of her hanging, with a dark cloud overhead, to symbolise her thoughts about taking her own life to end the pain that she felt inside”(Lydia). This example shows, When you are drawing your ‘pain’ you are telling and sharing it with yourself and with the art, also that- for victims it is not easy to share their words but it is easy to draw and show it which can help in healing their emotional pain.

Not only can creating art help people improve their emotions, looking at art, even abstract art, can help. Abstract art is not like the painting’s which has details of every structure and things. This art style just uses some lines, shapes and colors to representto know what it means we have to use the brain and our brain does that for us, it even gives us the meaning of some scattered lines and colors. “Beautiful visual images similarly trigger activity in the ventral striatum, the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, and the orbitofrontal cortex—areas involved in coding our pleasures—and the insula, which is linked to our autonomic nervous systems. Different kinds of pleasures, including music, visual art, and even architectural spaces, ignite the orbitofrontal cortex” (Chatterjee). These words of Chatterjee explains what parts of our brain work with art and also describes that our brain gets affected when we see something beautiful: Which means the brain interact with art and give us different types of pleasure. That shows how just by making people look at a drawing we can heal some of their emotional pain. David also talks about the same thing-that just by seeing an art we get feelings, “Just the sight of the raised wrist causes an activation of the muscle,” (David Freedberg).

Not just painting is art, anything creative or any work through which we describe beauty or emotion is art, other form of art such as dance can also make one feel happy by moving in a lively way. ‘A study that was conducted by researchers of Albert Einstein college of medicine shows that 76% of the people who dance habitually had lesser signs of ‘Dementia’ in comparison to those who reads often and answered crossword puzzle’. Dancing is an amazing form to express our feelings, such as-when we become so happy or excited we start to dance but why we does not dance when we are sad- A Dancer does. For People who are dealing with emotional pain: dancing is also an amazing way to reduce their sadness or stress by showing/giving out the pain through body movements. Dancing it not just for enjoying, it is also to show off your pain or to show the words you cannot speak.

Music is another form of art which can help people get rid of emotional pain, singing or listening smooth music can bring back our happy memories. By listening to an inspirational song we get a feeling that someone is telling us to be strong. Some songs gives the suffering people a light to see outside the room it tells them they are not alone. For example a song by Kelly Clarkson “stronger” is a song that is made for broken hearted people it gives them a light to think over again and tells that they are strong. “Does music heal emotional suffering? Research says yes” (Michael). Michael explains that music helps people to connect with each other-which gives an impact to individual’s mental health.

We can also believe that some big reasons why art exist are happiness, fun, memory and to express, which itself explain why it can be used for emotional healing. Emotions which comes from our brain plays very important role in every human’s life, excess of some emotions such as: fear, regret, sadness may lead to a condition where a person think of committing suicide which now a days is very common. We can use art to heal such big emotional injury, as a great artist said “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life,”(Pablo Picasso). We can use art to wash away the emotional pain of peoples. The emotional brain “limbic system” is the reason why we can understand the emotion of an art. If we draw, dance and show our brain repeatedly that we can be happy, it gets signal for it and it start to work for it, rather than repeating flashback of our bad experiences.




Zambon, Kat. “How Engaging With Art Affects the Human Brain.” How Engaging With Art Affects the Human Brain. ADVANCING SCIENCE, SERVING SOCIETY, 13 Nov. 2013. Web. 24 June 2015.

Atira, Lydia. “WRLC Library Services Login.” WRLC Library Services Login. Therapy Today, 1 June 2012. Web. 23 June 2015.

Chatterjee, Anjan. “Neuroaesthetics.” The-Scientist. TheScientist Exploring Life, Inspiring Innovation, 1 May 2014. Web. 13 June 2015.

Tucker, Abigail. “How Does the Brain Process Art?” Smithsonian. Smithsonian Magazine, 1 Nov. 2012. Web. 24 June 2015.

Fisher, Rob. “Neurobics – How to Exercise Your Brain and Improve Your Memory.” Home Cures That Work. Home Cures, 31 May 2015. Web. 24 June 2015.

Friedman, Michael. “Does Music Have Healing Powers?” Psychology Today. Brick by Brick, 4 Feb. 2014. Web. 24 June 2015.

Brooks, Katherine. “Study Says Making Art Is Good For Your Brain, And We Say You Should Listen.” The Huffington Post., 8 July 2014. Web. 24 June 2015.


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