Making Art in Response to a Rare, Life Limiting, Illness Diagnosis

Work thumb

Views: 264

All Rights Reserved

Copyright © 2021, Common Ground Research Networks, All Rights Reserved


How does one comprehend and adjust to a diagnosis of a rare life limiting illness? This article will discuss how art was used to respond to a diagnosis of Amyloidosis. The discussion will be set within the context of artists Jo Spence, Robert Pope, Elizabeth Jameson, Deborah Padfield, and Eugenie Lee who made work in response to cancer, multiple sclerosis, chronic pain, and endometriosis diagnoses. The article will discuss how and what art can communicate about the experience of serious illness and will examine how Murray and Gray (2008) view the psychology of health and Carel’s (2018) considerations of phenomenology can be used to interpret the experience of ill health for the individual. The article will also consider how, if artwork is made as part of a healing or therapeutic process, it can also communicate something of the experience to others including clinicians, other patients, carers, and the wider public. Set within current debate on the role of the arts in health and well-being, the article considers how art can interpret and communicate the medical and personal reality of complex medical conditions and the experience of living with those conditions.