Emilija Mecelicaite was born in Lithuania and has spent the last 9 years living in between the UK, Norway, Spain and Lithuania. She received her MA in Art Therapy from The University of Hertfordshire (2018) and MA in Philosophy from The University of Glasgow (2014). Emilija facilitates individual and group art therapy sessions. She has experience working with adults in an addiction treatment centre, and with children in community and school settings. Emilija sees art as a universal tool for communication and expression, with powerful healing potential. She is passionate about work in communities; creating safe space for others’ inner journey of self-knowledge, connection and empowerment. In her own art Emilija uses clay, inks, watercolours, oil pastels and pens. She often allows materials to lead, later discovering and highlighting forms that arise. Thus, chaos moves into structure, and mess into meaning.
Janine Simpson, MA, Director of ArtsAction Group UK, holds a degree in Art Psychotherapy from the University of Hertfordshire. Janine has 10 years’ experience working with Looked After Children in a London based charity specialising in residential care and therapeutic engagement. In her consultancy role, Janine uses art therapy theory and practice to facilitate art-based reflective practice sessions for children’s workers and home managers. Passionate about mental health and wellbeing Janine has two years’ experience as a neophyte art therapist in NHS adult community mental health services and later NHS forensic services. As a director of her own art therapy business and winner of the Santander ‘Flare’ Business Awards for ‘Best Business Idea’ Janine brings creative business acumen to the global ArtAction Group. As Director of ArtsAction Group UK Janine believes in ‘wellbeing for all’ and promotes a collaborative, side by side approach when working with individuals, communities and organisations on a local and global scale. In her spare time these themes continue in her work as an abstract expressionist artist where intersubjective theories are explored visually in a painted series named ‘The Space Between’.