One of the ways we can symbolically create balance in our and look at all the parts is by creating a mobile! Mobiles have appeared across a number of cultures for thousands of years. They may have originated from decorations, an amulet, a religious or a symbolic object used to wards off birds or evil spirits at temples.
Mobiles are a type of kinetic sculpture designed to work with balance and equilibrium. In the twentieth century, different artists began to experiment with hanging objects. Alexander Calder is an American sculptor, who experimented with circuses and balancing. It was the French artist Marcel Duchamp who christened Calder's hanging sculptures "mobiles."
"When everything goes right, a mobile is a piece of poetry that dances with the joy of life and surprises." Alexander Calder
Mobiles have also been used symbolically in therapy. Therapists, O’Brien and Loudon, used the gesture of pulling one part of hanging mobile to explore what happens in family, when one member is disturbed. The symbol of a mobile relies on all of its parts to keep balanced and by pulling one part the family gets to explore the effects of stress and emotional imbalances on separating families. Spier, another therapist, used mobiles with a group of eight-grade students, who where transitioning to high school. Students identified multiple stressors that they were experiencing and used found objects to represent each stressor. Students struggled with balancing the objects and realise they were metaphors for what they were trying to balance in their lives. They found new ways to work with stressors and gained deep awareness of their triggers.
A mobile can be used:
* To look at all the different parts of your life and how you can balance them and bring them together. This might include finding a symbol for work, family, money, creativity, relationships etc
• As a way of gathering materials from the forest or beach and working spontaneously to create an awareness of balance internally and externally.
* To create a mobile with or for a child based on their favourite animals, story book characters. You can use plasticine, cardboard, pasta shapes, toys or whatever you are inspired by!
HOW I MADE A MOBILE (and you can too!)
Please remember that insight-orientated art making can bring up a lot of ideas, memories and sometimes uncertainties, if you need support you are welcome to contact me and I can offer you a session or refer you.
If you are in crisis or need someone to talk to immediately, please go to the worldwide crisis line: www.befrienders.org