MA Creative Thesis Defense for Katherine Murray
Thursday, April 26th, 2:45pm in Carleton Hall, Room 304
Title: Shadow Self Portrait
Shadow Self Portrait is a novel that explores the relationship between artistic creativity and mental illness. Drawing on current psychological research, and using dissociation as a bridge between several disorders, it follows the progress of two visual artists on similar but divergent paths as one unlocks his creative potential and the other implodes under stress. Self-reflexive first-person narration highlights the novel’s status as an artistic work, and its contents as a reflection of the author’s psyche, which creates continuity between the form and content of the text. Art is reflected as an idiosyncratic expression or extension of self, altered or made strange by mental illness only in so far as the illness is integrated, rejected, or understood within the artist’s own sense of identity.