Transpersonal Art: A Conversation with Artist Judy Schavrien
Keywords:art-informed scholarship, computer art, feminist art, participatory research, political art, portrait, social activism, transpersonal psychology
This article presents an excerpt from an interview with Judy Schavrien, a transpersonal psychology scholar, poet, and artist. In the course of this dialogue, Schavrien uncovers the philosophical and psychosocial underpinnings for the artworks included in her books Alice at the Rabbithole Café and Everything Voluptuous: The Love Songs 1970-2014. The collegial conversation, unstructured in advance yet guided by the art it explores, inquires into the following: the role of the transpersonal artist-scholar; the meaning Schavrien attributes to her subject matter; the environments and people that act as catalysts; the relevance of her choice of media and process; and, finally, whether the aims in her art and research converge. It becomes clear that, for Schavrien, it is not enough for artists to be mere custodians of their culture. Their role, in her view, is to challenge conventions, cry out, provoke thought, engage multiple ways of knowing, and offer alternatives that push society forward. Her research intends the same. Both Schavrien and the interviewer perceive a participatory element in her art, her research, and the approach taken in this article that explores them.
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