Making Arrangements: The Curation of Grief in the Home Studio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This is an article co-produced by the contributions of two authors from different
professional disciplines—art psychotherapy and ceramics at Ulster University, Belfast
School of Art (Northern Ireland). The purpose of this collaboration is to promote the
attributes of material culture (materials of life that are meaningful and fulfil our needs)
as a signature pedagogical practice within art therapy. Material culture contributes to
art therapy in its appreciation of possessions as personal archaeology (representing a
life story, ancestral legacy, and an autobiographical archive). The influence of material
culture upon art therapy training at Ulster University is transformative, in terms of
interdisciplinary team teaching and creating with personal belongings. An appreciation
of each person’s material culture supports relevancy within art therapy practice by
encouraging service users (participants) to embrace their worldly goods as
psychological and artistic possessions. In this acknowledgement of material culture,
the art therapist is not the authority in terms of what materials to provide, but rather
supports the use of home as studio and gallery. The following is an example of material
culture’s contributions to art therapy teaching in relation to loss and commemoration.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCanadian Journal of Art Therapy: Research, Practice, and Issues
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Art Therapy
  • Material Culture
  • Grief
  • Home Studio
  • Art Therapy Pedagogy


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