Bearing Witness
By Deirdre Ronan
Installation and mixed-media, different sizes

1. This work is about . . . My work explores the nature of relationships. In my clinical work as a psychotherapist I am required to form incredibly intimate yet contained therapeutic relationships with clients. The basic tenets of the therapeutic relationship and my beliefs about my engagement with the therapeutic space and my role within it have been challenged by my work with victims of child sexual abuse and child sex offenders.

2. I made this work because . . . my systemic work supporting families of both offenders and victims of child sexual abuse further leads me to question relationships in terms of the systems we come from and become part of. This refers to my own relationships, personally, clinically and with my own art-making and how they have been impacted by the systems past and present in my life. As an art therapist I believe that the art process and product are unique in creating a container for that which is unsayable.

3. I hope when people see this work they will . . . begin to have discussions about what has been unsayable.

4. In terms of art history, this work . . . includes references to outsider art and art therapy, combined with the more traditional art-school context. It exists in this liminal space.

5. You can see my work . . . on my blog at and on my Twitter account @IrishArtTherapy.

Curios About is a series featuring works by Dublin artists, curated for us by our friends at the Square in the Circle blog, and hosted there as well as here.

Each artist is asked to submit an image of one work and answer a set of questions about it. We’d love it if you’d submit something you’ve made.

Square in the Circle is a blog featuring responses to contemporary art. You can find it at

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