The Veracity of Adolescents’ Drawings

Judit Hortoványi


In my essay I deal with the issue of how visual representation is related to veracity in adolescents’ drawings. In my PhD dissertation I investigated the possible applications of the 5-Symbols Art Task Series in relation to adolescents. The 5-symbols task is a projective art task series tailored for pedagogical practice, developed by myself. With the help of these drawings, through the depiction of the symbols, students share their personal experience, their inner world, with the community. In this case a drawing is a way of communication and the tool of self-expression, too. Therefore, the adolescents’ drawings are not veridical from the point of view of true representation, but they do indeed reveal their real inner world. I introduce my research results on how we can use drawings purposely as a tool of nonverbal communication in pedagogical practice. In adolescents’ drawings we can see contents that are forbidden in verbal form or contents they are ashamed of (e.g. anxiety, aggression, inferiority complex, etc.), and they reshape well-known signs from the media to suit their own selves. In some cases visual representation can be more effective than verbal communication, for example when it comes to the representation of grief by choosing specific colour combinations. I illustrate my study with adolescents’ drawings from the 5-Symbols Art Task Series.

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