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Making memory and meaning : the memorial fuction of art

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Making memory and meaning : the memorial fuction of art

Kalaba, Esther (2009) Making memory and meaning : the memorial fuction of art. Other thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

While art therapists readily work with bereaved populations, there are only a few articles that mention and describe the process of creating art memorials within art therapy literature (lunge, 1985; Kaufman, 1996; Malchiodi, 1992). The present research describes the experience of creating an art-based memorial in honour of the author's brother, who was stabbed in his teens, with the aim of understanding the unique role that art can play in grief. The use of heuristic methodology, which values knowledge found in the self, permitted the researcher to explore and discover meaning in this major life event (Douglass & Moustakas, 1985; Moustakas, 1990). The documentation of this art process lasted for a period of three months and consisted of the author's artwork and journal entries. The journey of creating a memorial allowed the author to process traumatic memories surrounding her brother's death, develop more positive representations of him that eventually led to a deeper understanding of herself in relation to the loss. Core themes relevant to the artistic process emerged, such as the role of metaphor in change and self-definition, the experience of immersion within the liminal space, the ability to produce a tangible art object external from oneself, as well as personal transformation through the development of meaning and self-narratives. By focusing on current bereavement theories such as the Meaning Reconstruction Model (Neimeyer, 2001 a), the author demonstrates how this lens is relevant, current, and can be applied to the field of the creative arts therapies when working with clients who have lost a loved one.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Fine Arts > Creative Arts Therapies
Item Type:Thesis (Other)
Authors:Kalaba, Esther
Series Name:Research Paper
Pagination:viii, 68 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Creative Arts Therapies
Date:2009
Thesis Supervisor(s):Lister, Suzanne
ID Code:976546
Deposited By: Concordia University Library
Deposited On:22 Jan 2013 16:28
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:42
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