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Therapy, awareness, community and laughter - a case study in art, design and chronic illness.

Dolling, Sophie (2020) Therapy, awareness, community and laughter - a case study in art, design and chronic illness. Masters thesis, University of Essex.


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I developed the chronic pain condition Fibromyalgia during my teenage years. I give a personal account of the way this has affected me; how it affects other sufferers, and how this provides a context for my research, both practical and theoretical. I identify education and building sensitivity as key areas for non sufferers, and breaking down isolation as key for those with the condition. I set out to devise ways, rooted in my art and design practice, to address these areas. I examine the role that social media can play in disseminating the material thus created. I give an account of my own art and design practice to date, identifying three common elements: humour, text and profanity, which I believe are particularly suited to my current tasks. I give an extended account of the creation of the works I exhibited, as well as discussing my posting of them on social media, looking at the reactions and discussions they elicit, then analyzing to what degree these works fulfill my initial aims. In passing, I note that in addition to the original scope of my project, the act of putting it into practice has had a markedly therapeutic effect on my own condition, or at the very least my ability to manage it. This last point informs a possible programme of future work; I want to continue researching the relationship between chronic pain and art, both practically and theoretically, and see if findings, which arose initially from personal experience, might be generalized and further developed to benefit others suffering from other chronic pain conditions.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
Depositing User: Sophie Dolling
Date Deposited: 24 Apr 2020 11:58
Last Modified: 24 Apr 2020 11:58

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