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Frontiers in Art Research, 2023, 5(15); doi: 10.25236/FAR.2023.051508.

Rosy Martin's Visual Art: Bridging Psycho-Therapeutic Theory and Understanding Family Life


Geyujing Shen

Corresponding Author:
Geyujing Shen

Goldsmiths College, University of London, London, UK


This essay explores the application of re-enactment phototherapy, pioneered by Rosy Martin and Jo Spence, in addressing psychological trauma and its role in enhancing our understanding of family dynamics. Re-enactment photography is a therapeutic approach that involves revisiting past traumas and crafting new narratives to foster personal growth. It encompasses role-playing and photographic documentation, structured around four key stages: establishing safety and trust, integrating counseling into photography sessions, reviewing images, and engaging in discussions. These processes are lauded for their ability to externalize unexpressed emotions, promoting self-expression and identity reconstruction within a social context. Using Rosy Martin's family project, Too Close to Home, as a case study, this essay delves into how documenting one's childhood home can serve as a coping mechanism for dealing with loss and reconnecting with familial memories. The essay also examines the application of re-enactment phototherapy across diverse demographics, underscoring its profound impact on comprehending family dynamics and healing childhood traumas. Additionally, it draws parallels with Diana Markosian’s Santa Barbara, highlighting their shared utilization of re-enactment to revisit their family's past and shedding light on the connections between phototherapy and trauma healing. In conclusion, re-enactment phototherapy emerges as a valuable tool for comprehending and healing family dynamics and childhood traumas. It offers a meaningful and constructive avenue for future research on trauma healing and identity exploration.


Rosy Martin; Joe Spencer; Psycho-therapeutic theory; Re-enactment phototherapy; Family memories; Trauma healing

Cite This Paper

Geyujing Shen. Rosy Martin's Visual Art: Bridging Psycho-Therapeutic Theory and Understanding Family Life. Frontiers in Art Research (2023) Vol. 5, Issue 15: 50-57. https://doi.org/10.25236/FAR.2023.051508.


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