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which grew from an encounter with Northern Ireland Artist Bronagh Lawson. Sue Ellen was spending a month in Northern Ireland learning more about art in the community and Art Therapy in Northern Ireland and found the time to present on this topic during her stay.


Suellen works with war veterans in Chicago in a project called the “Vet Art Project” and uses art to help them with experiences of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Throughout the presentation Suellen presented an overview on her interest in community art with veterans and others in Chicago. She presented her thoughts on trauma and how the arts can be used to help heal the wounds of war. Suellen’s presentation included some moving videos and imagery including an image of fallen soldiers’ dog tags that featured in the recent Culture BBC 2 programme on Art Therapy with soldiers in the UK who suffer from PTSD.

Suellen ended the evening highlighting the potential for art in the community in Northern Ireland in and how it has the power to heal post conflict. After the presentation NIGAT and BAAT representative Jayne McConkey presented Sueellen with a copy of “Symbolic Images in Art Therapy” by Rita Simon. A truly wonderful experience!

Clare Boyd, Art Pscyhotherapist.