The creative space : art and wellbeing in the shadow of trauma, grief and loss

Riggs, Anne (2010) The creative space : art and wellbeing in the shadow of trauma, grief and loss. PhD thesis, Victoria University.


This thesis explores the relationship between creative arts practice and trauma, loss and grief, including the shadowy world of sexual abuse. It is an examination of what art and the artist can contribute to wellbeing in the aftermath of such experiences through collaborative processes. It has involved creating art with a community of women who have inhabited spaces of trauma and loss and who carry the stigmata of these experiences. It examines what it means for artists to delve into the shadows of what hurts, disturbs and stultifies so as to offer something back that reveals, transforms and restores. Through a process of reflection and critical analysis, this research contributes to a more nuanced understanding of how art-making and a relationship with art and artists can influence the wellbeing of those dealing with trauma, loss and grief.The thesis also considers the creative spaces of artists: both the studio and the artist’s internal world.

Item type Thesis (PhD thesis)
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1701 Psychology
Historical > FOR Classification > 1905 Visual Arts and Crafts
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Social Sciences and Psychology
Keywords Art, trauma, grief, loss, sorrow, mosaics, ceramics, mourning, creativity, creative spaces, wellbeing, recovery
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