Fragmentation

Research output: Non-textual outputExhibition

Abstract

Fragmentation is a set of three paper-based artworks developed through autoethnographic practice: ‘...without a Body’, an installation of 286 four-inch hand-formed clay figures laid out on the floor in rows of seven; ‘Fragmented Portrait Series’, portraits incorporating fragments of handmade paper sewn together and then painted with watercolour; and ‘Edge of Grief 1, 2 and 3’, an installation of hanging paper fragments.

The works respond to complicated grief, a term for acute grief which can become a chronic, debilitating mental health condition that worsens over time. The research explored how the expression of complicated grief through creative embodied encounters can provide a ritual which contributes to the healing process; the exhibition of works made through an autoethnographic process offered the opportunity to broaden understanding of grief and mourning.

Findley’s work is situated within recent developments in reflective practice and autoethnography. Building on an established connection between paper and mourning ceremonies, for example the paper offerings that are burned at Taoist funerals, she used experimental methods to make paper, creating a material with inherent fragility. ‘Edge of Grief’ was created by shredding this handmade paper. In ‘...without a Body’, through the repetitious process of sculpting of paper clay figures, she investigated the repetitive ritual motion of making using natural materials as aids in recovery from grief. The practice provided insights into the means through which craft can help manage the grieving process and, through exhibition, enabled a more open discussion into the experience of complicated grief.

The works were first exhibited at the Drapers Hall, London (2017), the Royal College of Art (2018) and the International Paper Biennale, New Fengxian Museum, Shanghai (2019).
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationDrapers Hall, London
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017

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