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Title: Textile art promoting well-being in long-term illness: Some general and specific influences
Authors: Reynolds, F
Issue Date: 2004
Publisher: Journal of Occupational Science
Citation: Journal of Occupational Science. 11 (2) 58-67
Abstract: The paper reviews previous research into the meanings of textile art-making for people living with long-term illness. Qualitative accounts of the creative process suggest that textile art-making is a multi-dimensional experience. Some practitioners regard textile artwork as a means of coping with discomfort and other symptoms. For a minority, it enables expressions of anxiety and feelings about loss. Nevertheless, participants place more emphasis on the role of textile art-making in rebuilding a satisfactory identity, and restoring autonomy and quality to life. It fills occupational voids following early retirement, and enables social contacts. Textile artwork also stimulates learning and personal development. It remains possible that any creative occupation delivers such benefits. The paper analyses qualitative accounts from seven participants to identify whether textile art-making has any distinctive experiential qualities. As a creative occupation, it seems to be quite distinctive in being readily accessible even to those who do not consider themselves as artistic. Modern textile art embraces diverse techniques and forms, and practitioners’ choice and autonomy are enhanced by having several different projects in process at once. It accepts the use of assistive technology, thereby enabling people with a variety of physical impairments to produce ‘mainstream’ art. It draws upon rich social traditions, facilitating social contact. Many forms of textile art-making are highly time-consuming, fostering a future orientation, and the creative process is often socially visible within the home, with positive consequences for self-image. This study is exploratory. Further enquiry into the distinctive influences of different creative occupations upon well-being is recommended.
ISSN: 1442-7591
Appears in Collections:Dept of Clinical Sciences Research Papers

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