Catherine Chidester MFA Applied Craft + Design Practicum 2017
Despair/Repair: Uncertainty of Change
Despair/Repair is a project based on the physiological and psychological aspects of an abrupt transition. Hinging off of my unexpected divorce at a young age, this project confronts the structures surrounding processes of grief and change, while focusing on the confusion created within an individual’s mindset. The work is informed by the Five Stages of Grief, and the Change Curve developed by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, a psychiatrist who specialized in near death studies, explaining the pattern of adjustment after death, and transitional period after change occurs. Both Kubler-Ross Models offer a universal framework to understand the emotional traumas that are associated with the death of a relationship, and the ramifications of change. Weaving together the human experience of loss within these frameworks allow me to elaborate on the disorientation of transformation occurring within the mind. Utilizing the first three steps in the process of grief: denial, anger, and bargaining, and the first four steps of the Change Curve: shock, denial, frustration, and depression this project offers a perspective of an individual navigating through a flood of thoughts and emotions.
In addition to both Kübler-Ross’ models is Carl Jung’s process of individuation, the result of dissolution, the distancing of an individual from a unit to become their own truest self. By examining the physical manifestations of emotions involved with divorce, I break each step down into isolated representations, exposing the complications associated with separation. Areas of concentration are the moment of rupture leading to anger, frustration, retrospection, the constant need to fix what cannot be fixed, and the weight of having to think through and deal with unanticipated change.