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Virtual Art Gallery

A huge thank you to everybody who has contributed to the AFT Conference Gallery.  Here you will find a selection of fantastic art and poetry created by AFT members with the intention of exploring connections with the conference theme. The desire to create and communicate through artistic expression reflects a belief that this is an integral part of ethical and inclusive systemic practice.


If you would like to post a comment in response to the work, you are invited to do so from an appreciative perspective, sharing personal connections and responses to what you see and read.  If you feel inspired you can even create and send in your own works of art, which can be uploaded during the conference.  If you would like to do this please email your contribution to Alastair Pearson at

If you would like to join with others in developing the gallery and systemic practice in the arts more generally, please contact Alastair Pearson at the above email address.





We are connected


When the darkness weighs heavy on your heart

And you are gasping for breath,

When your feet shake and your gut is twisted in knots,

hold on to me.

Rest your weary feet and lean on me,

feel my hand holding yours.

May my tenderness flow from me to you…cell to cell…

Washing away what no longer serves you…

When you feel your life is shattered,

May compassion forge a bridge connecting us across time and across space.

One tribe connected through continents.

May we feel mother earth holding us firmly through its root…

 and may our eyes reach for the Light above us charging us with Hope…

May we keep sowing joyfully, singing the song of love in our fields…

May we feel the gratitude warming our heart in blissful moments as we reap…

…Beautiful explorer soul that travels guiding others through darkness and light…

a path you have walked through yourself…

This path which evokes, inspires, amazes, humbles us…

This path that connects us.

Wherever you are…you are not alone.

We are a tribe.

We are connected.


Elaine Grech 2023

Just Breathe- A letter to the Course You began by spinning me around 1000 times Then you asked me to stand up straight and still You pulled on parts of me that I was not ready to give You made my days longer and my nights shorter You put me in unfamiliar places and asked me to find my way You swarmed into my thoughts when I did not ask you to come You made me question why we ever needed to cross our paths One day I noticed I was no longer holding my breath We spun around together 1000 times And then we stood up straight and still I shared parts of me that I know I needed to give We shared our days and nights both long and short When I am in an unfamiliar place, I trust I will find my way You tentatively approach my thoughts and I choose which of you stay I have lots of questions, but my purpose is no longer one I have reminded myself to breath.  A poem by Rachel Edinborough

‘Only connect! Only connect the prose and the passion and each will be exalted, and human love will be seen at its highest. Live in fragments no more’ E.M.Forster ‘Howards End’ (1910)

‘At the still point of the turning world…at the still point, there the dance is,’   T.S. Eliot ‘Four Quartets 1: Burnt Norton (1935)


What can I expect?

(An elder Family Therapist offers a view)

‘What can I expect

If I connect?

When I set my foot upon the Rainbow Bridge

Which for Forster was the way to join

The prose and the passion

And is the way to reconcile

The fragments that we cling to

At our peril?’ I say:

Have a go! accept the challenge of

A century or more of disconnection,

But watch your step,

As you start out on the bridge.

However miraculous

It is, after all,

A mere optical effect which,

Like human kind ,

May not bear much ‘reality.’


If you connect

You can expect:

To find beauty, truth and meaning

In unexpected places.

Random encounters

May hold the keys

To understandings which otherwise

Seem locked.

You may recognise

What transcends language

Visions which, once seen,

You cannot ‘un-see’.

You will feel the pain of others

And even learn to value

How it is hidden.

You may learn preference for

Bateson’s Ecological view

And in time find answers

For those who say

You don’t know where to stop!


In the end

You may find wisdom

To sustain you

In the garden

Or on the seashore

Or in the sky at night

And in the special places

You have shared with others.


Liz Burns 2023

Anokh Goodman - Poem (3).png

Bridges Can Be Built

Jo Berry


 Fires rage in my heart

the heat heals the pain

bridges can be built


as a human being

I listen to your suffering

you offer me your story

the pain of the war

I learn

bridges can be built


you are my enemy I was told

be a good girl

speak only our words

and then I met you

bridges can be built


truth is more important

I will speak out for the healing of the world

take courage

take spirit

the game of the tribe is not for me

bridges can be built


the clothes of prejudice now stripped away

as I open to you

leaving my bare soul

that can love you all

bridges can be built


with the eyes of knowing

I move from us and them

our differences disappear

the unity of humanity remains

bridges can be built


your son could be mine

and I could be your brother

planting the bomb that killed my little boy

bridges can be built


and now I stand alone with you

who killed my Dad

there is a place inside me that knows

you acted your truth

challenging injustice and oppression

my Dad was in the way

bridges can be built


I miss my Dad

and cry for the granddad my girls cannot know

tears of grief for all who suffer

we are one in our loss in our pain

bridges can be built


sometimes I feel that my heart heals as Ireland heals

I am sorry for the suffering imposed by my tribe

I acknowledge your struggle

bridges can be built


my heart burns for peace, justice and equality for all

the passion of knowing that

bridges can be built

Anokh Goodman - Poem (1).jpg
Anokh Goodman - Poem (2).png


Comments (1)
Sep 15, 2023


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