Sue Linnell

Nine Standing Ladies that Dared to Dance

Media: mixed media
Size: 58cm – 140cm
Year: 2019/20

This art-work was inspired by archetypes and archetypal shapes taking particular influence from a Derbyshire stone circle – entitled ‘Nine ladies’.  These standing stones of Stanton Moor were filmed and then intermixed with images of homemade replicas.  Whilst filming at home, a serendipitous moment occurred where one icon fell and broke. 

A new storyboard evolved around blame and a drama ensued between the anthropomorphic stone characters. This facilitated the next stage of creating my own icons which were child-like size and facilitated my revisiting of past introjections and re-conceptualising my own past narrative. The medium of weaving was utilised, with seven of the nine icons being woven with a range of materials – ribbon, flax, willow, hessian and coconut matting alongside recycled household items. This modality enabled a flow of the weave and mirrored the journey between inner and outer worlds that matched my own psychic interplay.  Upon completion the icons were placed in a circle, whereby the emphasis was placed upon their reflective gaze. The transference around the reflective gaze from the icons manifested into aspects of the artists own life. The reflective gaze in art therapy was re-examined and found that it is a key component to building trust and attunement in art therapy. This then becomes part of the process of the art therapy that encourages the client to revisit past attachment and in utilising creativity can bring about therapeutic change. 


About Sue

Creativity and young people have always played a big part in Sue’s life as she ran an art club for 18 years for children, as the volunteer co-ordinator in a deprived Coalfield regeneration site. Sue worked in a Health Action Zone in Stoke-on-Trent, using creativity to break down barriers and cartoon art to revitalise the key DoH messages in preventing teen pregnancy. She has since worked with families around enhancing the early years of the child and caregiver.  

Most recently Sue has worked in the Falkland Islands supporting all island families including the Armed forces based there. She introduced aspects of creativity to promote reflective and responsive parenting such as touch, rhythm re-introducing nursery rhymes, stories and early years innovations alongside her health role. This visit to the Southern Hemisphere was key to her decision to take up Art Therapy, as she saw the benefits art can play in family’s lives. During her time studying Art Therapy at Derby, she has been on placement in CAMHS in Northamptonshire in her first year. In her second year placement, Sue has been a trainee art therapist in a middle school and high school in Leicestershire and Derbyshire.

Copyright © 2020 Sue Linnell