The black swan and postnatal depression: preventive talismans and transformative garments for 'bad' mothers

Hobbs, D 2013, The black swan and postnatal depression: preventive talismans and transformative garments for 'bad' mothers, Masters by Research, Art, RMIT University.


Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title The black swan and postnatal depression: preventive talismans and transformative garments for 'bad' mothers
Author(s) Hobbs, D
Year 2013
Abstract The Black Swan and Postnatal Depression: preventitive talismans and transformative garments for ‘bad’ mothers surveys the outcomes of practise-based research in the field of visual arts into the personal experience of Postnatal Depression, an area of discussion that remains relatively unrepresented within the practice of art.

Research under discussion includes the development of personal coping mechanisms employing transformation for the purposes of escape and protection.
Using vehicles such as a reinterpretation of the Aarne–Thompson Animal Wife motif and Professor Gerry Turcotte’s essay Australian Gothic, the black swan as the Animal Wife forms the chief motif through which I explore the fluid spaces between woman and mother, ‘good’ and ‘bad’ mother and the possibilities offered by the transitional space of Donald Winnicott’s ‘good enough’ mothering.

Extending the metaphor of enchanted transformation, I have explored the creation of talismans and garments that suggest the possibility of reconciliation between conflicting notions of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ motherhood.

This project has been realised through the creation of a series of wearable sculptural objects including a Black Swan jacket, thorned bra, talismanic neckpieces and outfits for a boy and a girl. The studio research has been informed by investigations into garment construction incorporating the psychological agency of biological materials. These objects have been augmented by drawings, video, photography, digital media and installation of the works to further articulate the thinking, process and documentation of the project.
Degree Masters by Research
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Art
Keyword(s) Postnatal Depression
motherhood
transformation
talismans
transformative garments
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Created: Thu, 12 Sep 2013, 16:31:13 EST by Brett Fenton
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