Beverly’s work examines the emotional states of mourning and melancholia. Her interest centres on the cultural practice of creating textiles to be buried with the deceased to afford them recognition in the afterlife. Beverly has researched the burial customs prevalent in the UK and her resulting dissertation documented the development of the English Shroud – from winding sheet to body bag. In this research she discussed the prevalence of the shroud in modern society and how it is represented in contemporary art.
Beverly uses materials traditionally used for burial; lead and linen, to encourage a focus on the emotional dimension in the words grief loss and absence. Her work highlights that even when the immediate feelings of grief and mourning are passed, we are changed forever; the emotions embedded in the fabric of our lives emerge at different times to stain our emotional states.
Melancholia has been described by Julia Kristeva as ‘an abyss of sorrow’. By exploring the expression of melancholia through the representation of loss in cloth she seeks to question whether it is possible to re-evaluate the term ‘melancholia’ in the light of contemporary ritual and practice using textiles as a metaphor for grief and loss within rituals of mourning.
‘The Language of Grief – cloth as a metaphor for loss.’
Beverly’s PhD thesis exhibition will be held at the James Hockey Gallery, UCA Farnham from 4th November to 10th December 2016. This exhibition brings together a number of key works produced over the past five years as part of my practice-based PhD at University for the Creative Arts.
Trauma. Grief. Loss: The Art of Bereavement Conference and Exhibition
The conference was held on 15th May 2015 at the University for the Creative Arts, Farnham.
To see the abstracts of the conference presentations and photographs from the day please click here.