Art and Mourning: The role of creativity in healing trauma and loss
This symposium explores how artists and writers use the creative process to face and work through traumatic and painful experiences of loss.
Although a great inspiration to her and a regular presence in her childhood, Jane’s father Lucian Freud became only an occasional figure in his daughter’s life as she grew up; when Jane was eight years old, father and daughter lost contact, only to reconnect when Jane was 31. By then she was respected artist herself, having established a reputation as a sculptor under the name of Jane McAdam. By the end of Lucian’s life they were in regular contact. Jane says: ‘At that time I saw my father regularly and, over about six months, we made sculpture. The last time I saw my father was shortly before his death, when I finished the sketches of him. I’ve now used them to make a large portrait sculpture. It helps me to keep him alive’.
About the book:
Art and Mourning: The role of creativity in healing trauma and loss, by Esther Dreifuss Kattan, Routledge 2016
Esther Dreifuss-Kattan explores the relationship between creativity and the work of self-mourning in the lives of 20th century artists and thinkers. The role of artistic and creative endeavours is well-known within psychoanalytic circles in helping to heal in the face of personal loss, trauma, and mourning.
In this book, Esther Dreifuss-Kattan analyses the work of major modernist and contemporary artists and thinkers through a psychoanalytic lens. In coming to terms with their own mortality, figures like Albert Einstein, Louise Bourgeois, Paul Klee, Eva Hesse and others were able to access previously unknown reserves of creative energy in their late works, as well as a new healing experience of time outside of the continuous temporality of everyday life.
Dreifuss-Kattan explores what we can learn about using the creative process to face and work through traumatic and painful experiences of loss. Art and Mourning will inspire psychoanalysts and psychotherapists to understand the power of artistic expression in transforming loss and traumas into perseverance, survival and gain.
Art and Mourning offers a new perspective on trauma and will appeal to psychoanalysts and psychotherapists, psychologists, clinical social workers and mental health workers, as well as artists and art historians.
Dr. Esther Dreifuss-Kattan is a psychoanalyst, psychotherapist and art therapist in private practice in Beverly Hills, California. Dr. Esther Dreifuss-Kattan is the President Elect of the New Center for Psychoanalysis in Los Angeles. She works with adults of all ages, adolescents and children. Given Dr. Dreifuss-Kattan’s own artistic background, she specializes in helping clients who are involved in various creative pursuits.
Dr. Dreifuss-Kattan’s second specialty is working with adult and paediatric cancer patients/survivors and their families as well as those with chronic pain. In addition to her private practice, she also works extensively with Los Angeles-based organizations devoted to treating those with illness.
She received her PhD in Psychoanalysis from the Southern California Institute of Psychoanalysis, now the New Center for Psychoanalysis, and earned another in Art Therapy and Psychooncology from the Union Institute in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Dr. Dreifuss-Kattan is currently a senior faculty member at the New Center for Psychoanalysis. Her published books and articles center on clinical practice, theory in psychoanalysis and art, art therapy and psychooncology. She lectures nationally and internationally.
Jane McAdam Freud MA RCA is a sculptor and multi-disciplinary artist educated at the Royal College of Art and is a recipient of the British Art Medal Scholarship in Rome. McAdam Freud exhibits internationally, holding twenty solo shows since 1996. Jane's work has been acquired for numerous Public Collections including the British Museum, V&A, National Gallery Archives, and the National Gallery of Greece.
Fay Ballard studied History of Art at Sussex University in the late 1970s and worked at the Museum of London, Royal Academy of Arts and Tate, where she was involved in the creation of Tate Modern. She completed an MA Fine Art at Central Saint Martin’s in 2006.
Commissioned by The Prince of Wales to paint flora at Highgrove, her plant portraits have been exhibited widely. Fay was elected to the Royal Watercolour Society in 2007 and served as a trustee of Camden Arts Centre and the Victoria Miro Education Trust.
Fay is a member of the Drawing Room Professional Network. She teaches, most recently, at the RCA and Camberwell Art School.
Jeremy Gavron is the author of two non-fiction books and three novels, including The Book of Israel, winner of the Encore Award, and An Acre of Barren Ground. A former foreign correspondent in Africa and India, he lives now in London, and teaches at Warren Wilson College in North Carolina.
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