Recycle, Upcycle and Reclaim - Childhood Patterns

As a ‘Maker’ I cut patterns, make garments and childhood keepsakes.

As an Art Psychotherapist, I identify patterns of behaviour and their root causes often learnt from childhood.

As an Artist I explore childhood patterns through the metaphors of ‘tailoring’. Unconventional materials are often used as pattern templates to portray the challenge of change in materials already fixed in their inherited form.


Flisan Beard’s art work explores psychological issues such as flashbacks and nightmares ‘haunting’ and the activation of memory. Her art practice looks at a wide array of artistic relationships to memory association, repetition and reappearance of negative patterns, as well as forms of ‘active’ forgetting. Her art practice is experiential, experimental and reflective. Taboo subjects are often explored in narratives through playfulness and dark humour. Flisan uses found objects, photography, film, traditional art media as well as contemporary. People, environments, psychogeographic work, site-specific, installation all fit in her interest of relational dynamics. Projects include art and science, social engagement, community participation, artistic interventions into public spaces, ecology projects, and much more. Further Flisan Beard is an HCPC Registered Art Psychotherapist experienced in Hospice care, Mental health, Paediatrics and Education.

Selected Exhibitions
Soundstripe 4 – Welland Festival, Elland  
2018 CBMT 25 Years Anniversary, Goldsmiths, London
2017 Stones throw, Minories gallery, Colchester
2016 Sense of place, Outside 16, Cuckoofarm, Boxted
2015 Open Exhibition, Firstsite gallery, Colchester
2015 After Dark, Cuckoofarm studios, Boxted
2014 Scene & Sensed, Hadleigh Hub(Curating) Hadleigh
2014 Cocoon Viewfinder, Hadleigh Country Park(Public Art) Hadleigh
2014 Cuckoo Lab, Outside exhibition, Cuckoofarm, Boxted
2013 Finding a voice, making your mark, Goldsmiths, London.2013, On the Edge, Harwich Arts Festival, Harwich
2012 Un Lieu de Memoire, Outside exhibition, Cuckoo farm, Boxted
2009 Bright and Beautiful, Slack Space, Colchester
2008 Open studios, Benham gallery
2007 Untitled, Live Gallery, Colchester
2007 Light house – Outside Exhibition, Boxted
2006 MADD-It’s my life exhibition, children’s right (project) Harlow
2005 Manifestation, Cabaret Voltaire Gallery (solo) Colchester
2004 The Rising Stars, Hay Gallery, Colchester
2004 Shaken and stirred, Goldsmiths, London
2004 Jacques Hall Mental health Project-photographic portfolio, Manningtree
2002 Healthy Living CEDARS-Mental Health, Firstsite gallery, Colchester
2002 MMII, Digby Gallery, Colchester
2001 A question of Heart, Jorge Orta, (collaboration) Firstsite, Colchester
2001 Life Nexus, University Gallery Exhibition, Essex

Selected Interdisciplinary Art
2018 doART – daily, MP collaboration, Parliamentary drop in, Westminster, London
2018 Paediatric rheumatic diseases and emotional wellbeing, awareness blog
2018 Private space in public place, Art-based research, GOSH, London
2017 Donate a Hood, Pattern of childhood and mental health, St Aubyn Centre
2015 Land Art and social engagements with adults mental health, Hadleigh
2014 Arts project with terminally ill patients and school children, Clacton
2014 Arts project with terminally ill patients and school children, Colchester

2003 – 2006 Goldsmiths University, London, Master Art Psychotherapy
2000 – 2003 UCC School of Art, Colchester, BA(Hons)Fine Art


Art Psychotherapy

I have since qualifying in Art Psychotherapy 2006 worked with people of all ages and diverse diagnosis, bridging from a specialist service in palliative care from a hospice setting to mental health and from a mental health specialist service to bereavement and chronic illness.

Through 9 years working in palliative-care, I found that somatic experiences can be identified and worked with effectively, in addition to working with cognitive impairment and emotional counter transference. This identification was also helpful when working with SEN and Neurological Disabilities. I completed a Neurological Music NMT training in 2017 through CHROMA Therapies which gave me an insight to Arts Therapy integrated with rehab and occupational therapy and how applied ‘metronomes’ can help containing anxiety and facilitate progress.

When working in post adoption I learnt about attachments, PTSD and developmental trauma and how the adoptive families often needed a care plan to prevent compassion fatigue, in order to sustain effective care for their adoptive child. I recognised this need following the crisis intervention at Grenfell tower fire in the Latimer community(LCAT), where I delivered and assessed the need for intense weekly supervision for the art therapists, to prevent secondary trauma and burnout.

I realised and communicated the need for school staff at alternative provision schools to have reflection time to prevent burnouts. Although the staff being trauma informed and experienced teachers to work with students from this background, they also need compassion and time for self care.

At GOSH together with another Art Therapist we pioneered through the Teapot trust(chronic illness) an innovative therapeutic model and researched open art table groups at medical clinics. I initially found myself having to regulate the patients’ anxiety in an heightened anxiety medical environment. The need to assess a flexible working model was essential to prevent patients sensitive to medical triggers and risks of being re traumatised. With time and trust built in the open art tables the patients soon learnt to self regulate and reduce anxiety held by the Art Therapy provision. This also reduced the anxiety in staff working with the patients and led to ad hoc staff participation when possible.

Through working in both a clinical medical setting in hospice care, hospital and mental health in the community, providing supervision, support, advocacy and psychological interventions to art therapy students and other professionals and service users, I believe I have diverse relevant experiences as well as transferable skills to implement and deliver specialist psychological, emotional and social support to a diverse range of clientele.

I have extensive experience of group work with children and young people to display knowledge and understanding of developmental stages and the affect of trauma and loss on the child’s psyche in pre/bereavement. I often use neuroscience theory in psychoeducation to inform of adequate practice and to help in preventing crisis.

I follow HCPC regulation and BAATs code of practise and carry out evidenced based practice. I research art therapy theory and attend adequate CPD training. On a regular basis I attend open seminars at Essex University for psycho analytic studies. I also supervise a PHD student(health and social care)and from this has learnt further depth of research. I’m used to do evaluation and audit, quantitative and qualitative data and contribute to research.

Further to art therapy I’m an active artist and part of Space studios in Essex. I’m passionate about Response Art as a communicator to social awareness. I participated in a group exhibition at Goldsmith 2014 and 2018 to raise awareness for Corinne Burton (CBMT) palliative care Art Therapists and their Patients‘ Art Work, plus publication.

I believe and practice Response Art as self care. I also have faith in this visual communication as a tool to allow the public experiencing emotions around pain of others without rejection.Through this process led image/object making it’s possible to cultivate compassion and find empathy for others and oneself without feeling too overwhelmed. This can therefore revitalise own sources and create resilience to emotional, mental and physical burnouts.

My specialism is in Palliative Care and Bereavement and my psychosocial and therapeutic training began in year 2000 in a hospice. I received the scholarship from Corrine Burton Memorial Trust Fund (CBMT)who supports training in Cancer care. 
My passion and compassion is to work in palliative care and bereavement through an holistic approach. To provide quality family centred psychosocial support to people affected by cancer (PABC) and their families and to be part of a multidisciplinary team who respect and work with a holistic care approach would be an honour.