The Rusty Nail: representations of homelessness and the aesthetics of suffering

Della Foresta, Eduardo (2023) The Rusty Nail: representations of homelessness and the aesthetics of suffering. MPhil(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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The Rusty Nail: Representations of Homelessness and the Aesthetics of Suffering collates years of practice-based research about the social realities of homelessness, looking at the experiences of homeless men, of frontline workers who deal directly with those experiencing homelessness and how homelessness is framed in broader cultural attitudes and societal structures. I take an auto-ethnographic approach, drawing on my own experiences as a front-line worker and with trauma, using my practice as an artist to shed new light on my encounters with homeless men and the spiritual and intellectual insights that have arisen from this. The paper contains a reflective prologue that considers how trauma and homelessness intersect, which is what moved me to create the “Rusty Nail” series and a reflective essay on the social position and aestheticization of suffering. The bulk of the essay combines extracts from my journals, presented in relation to a selection from my drawings, shedding light on these works in relation to my research. The “Rusty Nail” series is composed of drawings and sculptural works that emerge from a complex set of overlapping narratives. It is the way that I use art to gain some control over the chaos of emotion that I feel daily. In the constructing of meaning through material I can bring what I think is discarded and overlooked to the forefront. A worthless bucket of rusty nails that may find new life and hope.

Item Type: Thesis (MPhil(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts & Humanities > School of Critical Studies > Theology and Religious Studies
Supervisor's Name: Spiro, Dr. Mia and Walton, Professor Heather
Date of Award: 2023
Depositing User: Theses Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2023-83462
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 01 Mar 2023 10:52
Last Modified: 02 Mar 2023 09:25
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.83462

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