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Art Paper



Elana Lakh, Debra Kalmanowitz & Liat Shamri-Zeevi

Archetypal aspects of pictures drawn during Covid-19 lockdown in Israel

Covid-19 pandemic caught the whole world by surprise and changed our lives in profound ways, urging physical, social and psychological changes. As governments all over the world struggle to manage the virus and minimise deaths, people across cultures are finding ways to cope with this new reality.

Confined to our homes, what was revealed was evidence of tremendous creativity as well as fear. On the surface most people were coping, but the extended duration of this virus as well as forced changes in our behaviour and society has exposed many mental health challenges and a list of insidious effects on the everyday lives of people, many of which we are not yet aware. Through art, we see traces of this extraordinary time: of emotions, thoughts, hopes and fears – the makings of future memories.

This presentation looks at images made at the time of lockdown in Israel. Images made spontaneously by 97 participants (mostly women) were reflected upon and examined for themes. Art made during the time of closure embodied conscious and unconscious material and expressed personal and collective reactions to the pandemic. The implications of the pandemic reverberate not only as personal artistic expression, but bare collective and archetypal aspects, exposing a fascinating window into our human plight over time.

Aspects of resilience are evident throughout the pictures, illuminated by the artists’ words, explanations, style of making art and titles given. The pictures also revealed themes of hope, despair, isolation, human connection, nature, fantasy, chaos and order. The end of humanity as the devouring aspect of the great mother archetype, as well as the nourishing aspect of the great mother archetype was also a recurring motif. Some of the themes that emerged and their archetypal implications as they appeared in the pictures will be explored in this presentation.

Elana Lakh

Elana Lakh, PhD, is a supervising art therapist and a Jungian analyst. She teaches art therapy in the school of society and the arts in Ono academic college and conducts a private practice in Jerusalem specializing in treatment of sexual abuse survivors. She is a member of the Israeli institute for Jungian Psychology in honour of Erich Neumann. She studies creation mythologies and her research interests include archetypal aspects of art made in therapy.

Recent Publications

Lakh, E. (Accepted for publication). Reading the Hopi emergence myth during the Corona pandemic: An archetypal image of the destruction of humanity. Quadrant: The Journal of the C.G. Jung Foundation
Lakh, E. (2020). Games for life: Designing a board game for group therapy as a directive therapeutic intervention. Academic Journal of creative art therapies, 10(1).
Lakh, E. (2020). ‘Animal Symbolicum’ in the realm of the ‘Lady of the beasts’: Jungian perpective on animal symbolism in therapy of a young man in an acute psychotic state. Bein Hamilim (Hebrew) 17.
Lakh E. (2017). Origins of evil in the human psyche. Carmel Publishing House (Hebrew).
Lakh, E. (2019). The face of evil: Manifestations of evil in creation myths and in therapy. Yahat conference, 2019.

Debra Kalmanowitz

Debra Kalmanowitz, PhD, HCPC, BAAT, reg. art therapist and artist, works in the context of humanitarian aid, disaster relief, trauma, resilience, political violence, refugees and social change and has done since the early 1990’s. She held positions at the Medical Foundation for Victims of Torture, London, and Christian Action, Hong Kong, where she worked with refugees. She is currently a practising artist and art therapist, a lecturer at the School of Society and the Arts in Ono Academic College, co-editor in chief of the Journal CAET (Creative Art in Education. Eastern and Western Perspectives) and is a psychosocial facilitator for the international non-government organisation (NGO) IsraAid. She is the co-author of The Portable Studio, Art Therapy and Political Violence: With art, without illusion and Art Therapy in Asia: To the Bone or Wrapped in Silk.

Recent Publications

Kalmanowitz, D. (2020). Foreword Covid 19 Special Edition. CAET Creative Arts in Education and Therapy. Eastern and Western Perspectives, 6(1):3–5. DOI: 10.15212/CAET/2020/6/20
Kalmanowitz, D, Marcow-Speiser, V., Schwartz, S., Kossak, M. (2018). Guest Editors Special: Expressive arts therapy and Disaster Relief, Journal of Applied Arts and Health. 9 (2).
Kalmanowitz, D, Marcow-Speiser V., Schwartz, S., Kossak, M. (2018). Editorial. Arts Based Disaster Relief: An overview of psychosocial responses and practices., Journal of Applied Arts and Health. 9 (2), 149-155
Kalmanowitz, D. (2018). Displacement, art and shelter: art therapy in a temporary refugee
camp, Journal of Applied Arts and Health. 9(2), 291-305.
Kalmanowitz, D. (2017). Polarities and Dualities. East West Perspectives in Art Therapy with a Refugee woman from Central Africa. Creative Arts Education and Therapy (CAET) –Eastern and Western Perspectives, 3(1), 44-56. DOI

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