Tape Art is a unique way to give institutionalized individuals a valuable sense of control over their environment.
Psychiatric Programs & Units
We have worked in a variety of psychiatric environments, from daytime partial programs to units with patients on 24/7 lockdown, and with a range of different ages.
Tape Art exercises give patients an opportunity to transform the very spaces in which they are undergoing treatment. Working either in groups or as individuals, participants are invited to take the risk of working with a new medium creating artwork in front of their peers. At some level the exercise requires an amount of trust within the group, which is why we often invite program staff to draw as well.
Whether patients choose to create deeply personal work, join the group in drawing within an agreed upon theme, or simply put tape on the wall as a means of passing the time, by drawing on the walls (floor and ceiling) around them they can claim a sense of ownership over the space. This can be particularly powerful for individuals who are in intensive lockdown programs.
Traditionally we draw with patients for anywhere from one to two hours and then leave the work up for a week or two. It is removed by the patients to make way for new drawings.
Prisions & Correctional Facilities
Inmates in correctional facilities are stripped of most of their freedoms, including many forms of personal expression. We work with groups of inmates drawing on the walls that they see every day and giving them an opportunity, however fleeting, to have a sense of ownership and control over their space.
Participants in these Tape Art exercises have reported that drawing with tape on the walls was the first time in years that they had had the opportunity to publicly express themselves.