I was 32 years old when my infant son, Jack, died suddenly one June winter morning in Melbourne. In the intervening years since then – I am 66 years old now – I have come to understand that sudden, traumatic loss and wrenching grief can be lived and expressed in so many ways.
In this presentation, I share not only my experiences of the witnessing power of the written and spoken languages of grief, but also my arts-based responses to my enduring sorrow. In doing so, I put forward the hope that such enduring sorrow can be a consolatory companion of love.
Dr Donna McDonald is a disability studies/creative arts researcher and lecturer in arts psychotherapy with strong connections with the arts, disability, community, and university sectors. As a published writer and arts therapist, Donna has a demonstrably deep commitment to improving our understanding of the role of the arts in society in general, and in health and wellbeing in particular.
Donna’s publications about bereavement and grief include Jack’s Story, Allen & Unwin 1991; ‘The Consolations of Sorrow: Contemplating art as an autobiographical response’ in McCahon 100, McCahon House Trust 2020 ; and ‘When Time Stops: The Courage for Joy’ in Complicated Grief, Eric D Miller (Ed). NASW 2013
Her publications about deafness and disability include her memoir, The Art of Being Deaf (GUP 2014), and ‘Visual Narratives: Contemplating the Storied Images of Disability and Disablement’ in The Routledge Handbook of Disability Arts, Culture and Media Studies (2019), Bree Hadley and Donna McDonald (co-editors).
Donna is the 2020 Winner of the National Aspire Prestigious Arts Award
Date and Time
Saturday 31st July
11:30am – 12:30pm ( a light lunch will be provided)
44 Newdegate St Greenslopes
$15 – Financial Members of TCFQ
$25 – Non-Financial or Non-Members
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