We will be delighted to welcome Drew Matott and Margaret Mahan of Peace Paper at the end of February. See the event page for details of how you can participate.

The original initiative, ‘Combat Paper’, started as a partnership between artists and US war veterans who, in shredding and pulping their service uniforms, were able directly to bring forth a medium – paper – that was readily accessible to being formed, printed or written on, processing and transforming difficult experiences and memories.

Building on Combat Paper’s many positive results, the ‘Peace Paper’ team now travels around the US and elsewhere around the world engaging a broad range of participants coping with trauma including ex-servicemen and women, victims of domestic or sexual abuse, and those with family issues such as separation or care responsibilities, and importantly, seeks to enact this activity within the local community facilitating discussions around the wider issues involved.

Its success is attributable to a number of factors:

  1. The making process does not appear highly technical or overtly therapeutic, but provides a straightforward and physical means of addressing past experience, forming new perspectives and building a sense of achievement.
  2. The process is of its nature collaborative, involving different stages, and natural breaks.
  3. Paper can be further developed through drawing, folding, writing, painting, tearing or cutting into books, artworks, posters and objects, within each process an opportunity to add, change or remove significance and meaning.
  4. The presence of trained art therapy practitioners, as well as artists, as part of the team means that participants who experience the powerful emotions and memories that sometimes arise can be supported and accepted in an informed and sensitive manner.