That's why I make Conversation Pictures

That's why I make Conversation Pictures

Life's big questions have interested me in various ways for as long as I can remember. When I grew up as a child in the 1940s and 1950s in Denmark, thoughts and feelings were not debated very often in my world. Consequently, for me it involved a feeling of loneliness and loss in that area. In adulthood, life was filled with theories and a new understanding of different relationships, and in some periods I benefited from psychological interviews, where I, among other things, were encouraged to make pictures. Words were not enough for me, and these pictures became the starting point for our conversations then. A joy, inspiration and mental development started upon opening this narrative picture world.

Now approx. 30 years ago then. I have benefited greatly from developing an image pedagogy that I called Creativity and Consciousness in the 1990s.

It proved to have been meaningful to people who learned about it, and it was used in teaching contexts where an extended concept of language was relevant to include. The name Conversation Pictures was born. Today, you would probably call it Storytelling based on pictures.

Renewed interest in Conversation Pictures:

  • Where my Conversation Pictures from that time were made on a personal background, today I experience something general in the individual pictures and in the series, which can be used as a source of inspiration. The pictures are usually symbolic expressions, where you can think your own thoughts and feelings (my truth/your truth) as a starting point for conversations.

  • We are looking for peace and satisfaction and a counterbalance to the digital age, which is characterized by pace and competition. In the same way as going for a walk in the forest, with Conversation Pictures we can be inspired for cozy, stress-relieving get-togethers, where we can talk about, give ideas and even make Conversation Pictures with each other (both children and adults) in a simple way, both alone and together with others. .

  • There is a social equality and economic modesty in making Conversation Pictures.

  • There are no artist requirements or requirements for special materials to make Conversation Pictures.

  • Conversation pictures can help to strengthen a more free conversation and the experience of authenticity and presence.

  • Conversation pictures can help us mutually help each other when life is difficult.

Conversational images can be edifying, as they can help reveal how we think life must or should be in order for us to feel good.

What do I understand by Conversation pictures?

The background to my understanding of Conversation Pictures is inspiration, knowledge and my own evaluated development projects. Founder and head of the Institute for Art Therapy in Denmark, Vibeke Skov's theories behind expressing oneself in artistic language as a starting point for therapeutic conversations became the inspiration for me to immerse myself in image processes such as Storytelling/Samtalebilder.

My final thesis on the art therapy program was called Art Therapy as Pedagogy (2009).

The art therapy focus in Conversation Pictures is on the picture task that is being asked and the communication around the picture. The aim of the dialogue around the images is to uncover:

  • To be unique in the community
  • To experience my truth/your truth

  • To inspire curiosity and desire

  • To support the development of joy in communication and courage to use oneself in life together with others

  • The educational focus in Conversation Pictures is inspired by the Reggio Emilia philosophy – developed on the basis of the ideas about Children's Hundred Languages, where you rob them of the 99 – shaped by the Italian Loris Malaguzzi (1920-1994)

  • For me, conversation photos are photos that tell a story. They are:

  • Engagement and immersion in the process

  • Expression of impressions, thoughts and feelings

  • Challenges in technically and sensually expressing yourself in the images

  • Limitless within the task

  • International and ethnic

  • Social in communications with insight into the uniqueness of the community and with own training in being empathic yourself, daring to share with others and with the courage to get others' responses.

  • Sources of inspiration and at the same time learning, where you use experienced knowledge

Have fun with the Conversation Pictures. I am of course available for in-depth questions or dialogue in general and can be reached at .

Helvi Mølgaard Pedersen