Pictures from life: a visual arts bereavement project for Children's Fund Lincolnshire hosted by the United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust
This research introduces a pioneering UK based workshop programme, which has been specifically designed to provide bereavement support, through engagement in photographic practice, for children/young people who have experienced a family death. The Director of the UK Childhood Bereavement Network has acknowledged Pictures From Life as “a beacon project” (Willis, 2005), as it combines the skills and experience of qualified practitioners from photography and clinical practice, in a unique interdisciplinary collaboration. Children’s grief is frequently misunderstood or ignored (Job & Frances, 2004), and much of the work already achieved elsewhere in the UK, has been through support programmes with much less emphasis placed on the recognition of photographic-based practice as a medium for bereavement care. Although some bereavement studies have acknowledged that photographs can assist in the healing process (Riches & Dawson, 1998), these refer to the use of existing family photographs, not photographic work created as a specific response to the experience and interpretation of grief. The use of photography in clinical settings has been practiced and understood for many years, and a range of methodologies has developed within these frameworks (Weiser, 1971; Krauss et al.1983; Heisley & Levy, 1991; Wang & Burris 1994; Banks, 2001; Radley & Taylor, 2003). All of these varied initiatives acknowledge the use of photography as a means to improve knowledge and communication (Riley & Manias, 2004). The basic premise for these clinical applications is “low skill” (Knill, 2001, p.74), with “aesthetic standards [being] of little importance” (BAAT, 2006). An important point to note however is that the people using these processes are not primarily photographers or visually trained, and are not concerned with the photographic process as an integral component of therapeutic intervention. This research has demonstrated that this approach provides a new and effective model in the context of bereavement care.
Research Group : Photographic Studies and Creative Imaging
- Leicester Media School