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  • Fragmentation: materialising mourning from complicated grief

Findlay, Jules, 2018, Thesis, Fragmentation: materialising mourning from complicated grief PhD thesis, Royal College of Art.

Abstract or Description:

This research by project is asking whether the affect of embodied materiality can
be materialised from complicated grief, in an investigation into the relationship
between the affect of grief and the creative, embodied encounters with paper
materials. In some types of traumatic loss, complicated grief can subsume the
bereaved in a way like no other. Mourning can be a very difficult process.
The research integrates creative practice, working with fibre-based materials,
with the scholarly and cultural exploration of the literature and theory of
mourning as a specific psychological state of mind. It is an exploration of the
experience of mourning a complicated grief, through the sustained process of
an embodied encounter with the materiality of making paper. Paper becomes
the metaphor to discuss research questions that connect the maternal with
affect in maternal grief, that paper can be the Symbolic and the body that
inputs Cartesian culture is feminised using affect of the embodied encounter
with materials. This research is not into art therapy, nor into art as illustrative of
psychology.
I use a hybrid approach to methodology, involving auto-ethnography and
subjective experience as a medium through which to reflect on the relationship
between materiality and affect. The substrate uses play; judgment is suspended,
whilst the substrate is being handmade to create individual materiality. Culture
and social theory, which enabled the methods of auto-ethnography and creative
practice research to emerge, is the paradigm of postmodern and post positivist
accounts of new relations between ‘subjectivity’ and ‘objectivity’. Moving
forward from Glaser and Strauss’s thinking on grounded theory, display, together
with reflective practice, is compatible with the emergence of feminist thinking on
the significance of subjectivity and affect.
The submission comprises a written dissertation, which reflects on the six years
of creative practice, making new sense of the conventional silence surrounding
complex mourning. The practice itself, connotes affect through the materialities
of paper.

Qualification Name: PhD
Subjects: Creative Arts and Design > W700 Crafts
School or Centre: School of Material
Date Deposited: 13 Jun 2018 13:43
Last Modified: 13 Jun 2018 13:43
URI: http://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/3465

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