A Strategy for Resilience: Developing a Narrative of the Imagined Future


Using motifs from the 1484 Jan van Eyck, “The Arnolfini Portrait”, I draw parallels with the processes of narrating an imagined future and of art-making to develop a strategy that has the capacity to navigate through clinical depression and suicidality. Both art-making and creating a narrative of the imagined future call on the imagination to conceive a finished object before beginning its construction. Both processes open a way into the unknown future by claiming a stake-hold that signals a direction for the art-piece and the narrative to conjecture what could become real. I offer similarities between art-making and the articulating of a self-narrative through an exploration of my 2015, double portrait, “Be-yond Becoming”, which references van Eyck’s 1434, “The Arnolfini Portrait. Narratives are powerful vehicles. As we tell the story of who we want to become we set ourselves to live out and perform as though it is real, the story of the imagined future. The virtual is actualized and the imagined is realised. I outline how ruptures in a self-narrative can become the place in which another story of the self emerges. My own interest in articulating and living out a narrative of the imagined future through art practice developed when I exchanged a narrative of suicidal depression with a narrative of becoming an artist.

Author Information
Debra J. Phillips, Australian Catholic University, Australia

Paper Information
Conference: ECAH2022
Stream: Arts - Other Arts

This paper is part of the ECAH2022 Conference Proceedings (View)
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To cite this article:
Phillips D. (2022) A Strategy for Resilience: Developing a Narrative of the Imagined Future ISSN: 2188-1111 – The European Conference on Arts & Humanities 2022: Official Conference Proceedings https://doi.org/10.22492/issn.2188-1111.2022.6
To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.22492/issn.2188-1111.2022.6

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon