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
Im an HCPC Art Psychotherapist and have practiced in a variety of settings since 2006 when qualified. While studying at Goldsmiths (2004) received the Corinne Burton Memorial Trust Scholarship, which led me to work in a hospice for 9 years. 

Through working in palliative care and also in Mental health as an Artist and Art Psychotherapist, I found that many of the clients I worked with through the mental health referrals were presenting grief that had been suppressed for a long period of time. Their hidden grief had often entwined with their physical and mental health conditions and was often psychosomatic in its origin. 

When working with patients in palliative care I often found unresolved mental health issues and developmental trauma. When the Patients approached death there was a need and desire to work through as much as they could before they died. I found the work in palliative care intimate, unique, rewarding and challenging.  

Im a BAAT approved Private Practitioner and Clinical Supervisor. I also Supervise a PHD student in the school of health and social care. I use psychological creative modalities, and a variety of theoretical frameworks. I have over 9 years of experience in providing Clinical Supervision to Art Therapy students and Art/Integrative Psychotherapists.  

 I believe I have a deep understanding to palliative care from having worked in a hospice with patients and their families, friends and care staff. I also have an understanding of differences and similarities in job roles of hospice staff from having run a lot of interdisciplinary workshops for the patients together with other disciplines.  

Ive worked within the field of palliative care and pre/bereavement in hospice, community and day centers. Ive experienced working with traumatic loss across mental health, post adoption and palliative care and was involved with the Grenfell Tower Fire immediate therapeutic respond (LCAT). I identified the need for immediate weekly Supervision to prevent secondary trauma for the Art Therapists and Counsellors working in the Latimer community. 

Ive done training in trauma models and learnt the necessity to assess the client’s tolerance to trauma materials in order to prevent being re-traumatised. I found that to initially regulate the session accordingly to the patients “window of tolerance” was safe practice until they found a way to self-regulate, safely contain and process their trauma materials effectively. 

recognised this trauma model” when working with chronic illness at GOSH where the patients are at its most vulnerable with complex needs both through their physical and mental health issues in a heightened anxiety medical environment. A consistent assessment to safe practice through regulating anxiety in the medical environment was key to prevent the patients being triggered by the medical intervention and emerging old medical trauma.  

At GOSH I especially learnt the need to apply different techniques, models, responds and gained experience of working with such diversity where different ethnic background is very high both in patients and staffs. This diversity came with a wealth of learning which I really appreciated. 

My Supervision style and Art Therapy work has developed many different modalities throughout the years influenced by the service users’ needs and continued CPD development, such as Mentalisation, Mindfulness, Counselling, CBT, and Support work. I also bring element of Neuroscience and Psycho Educational element into Supervision when needed and have done a Neurological Music therapy (NMT)which complements OT work very well and has many evaluation tools for safe practice.  

In Supervision Im willing to draw from my own practice and perspectives and both use humour and authority to challenge the Supervisee when needed. My core is Psychodynamic practice but my main aim is to create a safe and open environment in which practitioners can bring issues that are difficult, challenging and problematic and the modality therefore changes accordingly to support this lead. If identifying unsafe practice, Ill report appropriately in line with the organisation’s policies and procedures. I follow BAAT, HCPC, NICE guidelines, ICO, Data protection and safeguarding and keep up with my registrations and CPD needs.