Body of Work: Book 1

Research output: Book/ReportBook


Body of Work is a visual monograph of Lefika La Phodiso/The Art Therapy Centre's Founding Director Dr Hayley Berman's work.

Both the form and the content of this monograph of Hayley Berman’s work (1989-2015), embody a process of home-coming born out of the realisation that one’s true home is always inside oneself. Simultaneously tracing and mapping, Body of Work is a visual tapestry woven from vivid threads, both material and non-material, of Hayley’s professional as well as personal life.

Contemporary psychoanalyst and theorist Christopher Bollas has profoundly enriched her understanding of what happens when people encounter their objects – in his dictionary of ideas, objects standing for the endlessly variegated context of external reality. Bollas emphasises both the creativity of subjectivity itself and the key place of experience in the formation of psychical constructions and fantasy.

It needs to be noted: that in the process of making this book the creators have drawn upon, and frequently appropriated Bollas’s wonderful world of objects. On thinking we understood them, we have realised that we haven’t and then we might have…and in the end we have followed our instincts, free associated, messed around, muddled up and simply played with his words and his ideas. [With apologies to Christopher Bollas]

Through Hayley’s unique idiom she has endowed her objects with meanings which have facilitated not only opportunities for her own Self’s expression and growth, but also created aliveness for the Other. As part of her personal struggle for healing, identity and recognition, Hayley has developed an adapted model of art therapy in South Africa – Community Art Counselling. Alongside her growth and development so did community art counselling and later its home Lefika La Phodiso (The Art Therapy Centre) tread its own path, establishing its identity and becoming recognised as a place, a rock, of holding and healing.

Hayley’s PhD entitled Community Art Counselling: liberating the life force in a traumatized South Africa documents the interwoven pathways of both the broader state, South Africa; art therapy as a therapeutic modality and its relationship with psychoanalytic thinking; with the dire need for the healing and the holding of its traumatised citizens.

Body of Work is a distillation from Hayley’s life’s work. It is the first book in Lefika’s The Working Body of Knowledge Series and serves as a model of practice. It is a visual document, partly of hope and how despite a turbulent history, there is always an opportunity for reconstruction, regeneration, transformation and an aesthetic, vital capacity to be in the world.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationJohannesburg
PublisherLefika Publications
Commissioning bodyNational Arts Council
ISBN (Print)9780994691019
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Publication series

NameThe Working Body of Knowledge Series
PublisherCactus Publishing on Behalf of Lefika Publications


Dive into the research topics of 'Body of Work: Book 1'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this