Mouths and meaning : a multisensory, creative and collaborative arts based exploration of food, eating and embodiment towards gaining greater understanding of the experience of eating disorders

Platten, BM 2012, Mouths and meaning : a multisensory, creative and collaborative arts based exploration of food, eating and embodiment towards gaining greater understanding of the experience of eating disorders , PhD thesis, University of Salford.

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Access Information: The above document includes the main thesis text as well as an extensive appendix called 'The Inventory 1963-2011'.

Abstract

While it is widely recognized that there is no single cause contributing to the onset of an eating disorder, current understanding of embodiment for those affected is predominately represented as a preoccupation with body image (Probyn, 2000). Clinical perspectives tend to consider such illnesses as an individual pathology resulting from maladaptive cognition. Alternatively, feminist perspectives argue that it is not possible to consider eating disorders as separate to embodied identity and as influenced by gender and culture. Yet, academic and linguistic insights alone may not effectively communicate the distinctive sensuality of embodied subjectivity (Davis, 1997; Gillies et al, 2005). This research proposes that the use of multi-sensory, artistled practices may augment current interdisciplinary understanding of the embodiment of eating disorders. Considering the extensive nature of the subject of embodiment, the research has focussed upon the mouth. Arguably the mouth, as both arbiter of taste and language and as liminal - due to its existence both within and out with the body - cannot be so readily objectified as bodily appearance. The methodology draws on the literature surrounding theories of embodiment and eating disorders from across disciplines as well as feminist informed art practice to establish a non-hierarchical approach. Mouths and Meaning has utilised an innovative, inclusive and ethical drawing method towards the involvement of others to generate shared knowledge, and as a way to explore individual interiority of embodiment. Also, extensive collaboration with S - who has been in recovery from an eating disorder - has conveyed embodiment as expressed through performance, installations and drawing. Through arts based research and artwork, Mouths and Meaning navigates across disciplinary divides to reveal eating disorders as informed through 'practical knowledge' of materiality, as relational and generative. Additionally, the approach evidences interrelationships with philosophies informing the role of art in healthcare, correspondences between art and art therapy and design of healthcare facilities. Insights are evoked through creative and textual representations of tacit accounts relating to abject materiality of embodiment alongside the experiential and relational nature of eating disorders and associated practices.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Contributors: Kagioglou, M (Supervisor) and Kokoli, A (Supervisor)
Schools: Schools > School of the Built Environment
Funders: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
Depositing User: Institutional Repository
Date Deposited: 27 Jul 2021 14:46
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 21:55
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/61317

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