Blue Monkey Network meets Psychotherapy Sussex: Art, Longing & Desire

Blue Monkey Network member Mandy Wax takes the reins at the monthly event for July. A practicing psychotherapist and member of Psychotherapy Sussex, she has invited three Blue Monkey artists to speak about their work and its relationship to the concepts of longing, desire, and the unconscious.

There will no doubt be many thought-provoking connections between the artists and how their work relates to themes in psychoanalysis. Mandy and the other Blue Monkey artists will be joined on the discussion panel by psychotherapist Jennifer Leeburn.

Blue Monkey artists taking part and talking about their work are:

Nikki Davidson-Bowman is a multi media artist, whose practice explores stories around female identity and rites of passage, entrenched in personal experience. Collecting, destroying and re-purposing, researching and cataloging found materials such as books, letters, words and natural things, Nikki uses the obsessive process of making to allow ideas to invade and evolve. New narratives appear as sculptures, fine art print editions or playful interventions and installations, to reveal a disrupted and re-imagined version of the female, creating a space for the audience to reflect on their own identity and untold stories.

Cat Ingrams first studied Philosophy (MA Sussex 1989) before teaching and translating in Barcelona, where she began making art and had her first studio space in a hot tin hut on a rooftop. Here she began to grasp the potential of art to realise, to make present and to understand, what her words hadn’t quite been able to get at. During her Sculpture BA at Brighton (2003), and ever since, she has explored through small constructions and experimental printmaking her abiding obsessions of language, consciousness, inner experience, architecture and memory. She has been a member of Blue Monkey Studio (Eastbourne) since 2003, exhibiting regularly, and helps run Blue Monkey Network. 

April Yasamee moved to East Sussex from London, where she was part of Acme artists studios. She has been exhibiting widely and internationally, with artists groups, since graduating from art college. She has lived in Italy and Australia. April is currently studying Tai Chi Qigong; continuing a long involvement with yoga and meditation practices, which quieten the mind through precise physical movements. She has worked and engaged within psychological well-being for extended periods: through arts workshops, with a homeless night shelter and as a prison visitor with vulnerable inmates. She has experience of Psycho dynamic counselling and briefly studied Psychosynthesis. 

Jennifer Leeburn is an experienced psychoanalytic psychotherapist working in private practice in Lewes. She is a member of the Forum for Independent Psychotherapists and coordinates the Arts Forum of Psychotherapy Sussex, who are co-hosting this event with the Blue Monkey Network. 

Mandy Wax, now based in East Sussex, is a conceptual and installation artist. She creates surreal imagery and spatial environments that conjure subtle emotional states through the evocation of abstract, biographically informed, dream-like parallels. Her work addresses questions of remembrance and how symbols can reflect interior states. She is especially interested in the practice of repetition and how the experiences from one time and place are passed on to another. Her work invites questions about transforming personal narrative and challenges ideas of truth through the act of selection, creation and re-creation. Mandy is also a psychoanalytic psychotherapist in private practice. She is a member of the Site for Contemporary Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy Sussex.

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