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The art of dying: Aesthetics and palliative care

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The Art of Dying explores the function of arts integration into the management of death. The article focuses on a practitioner’s point of view as a Community Artist at St Christopher’s Hospice in London. Looking at how the death process itself functions as a transitory and liminal phase in life, the article proposes that the arts are an integral component of dying. With references to creative texts that have shaped how we view and manage death The Art of Dying demonstrates the methods in which arts can be integrated into the dying process. The creative process is shown through two case studies to assist the dying person in dealing with the complexities of the transitional phase, allowing a level of objectivity and critical thinking. The article concludes with the power of place-making through memory and its impact on legacy and a new narration of life when faced with death.
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Keywords: St Christopher’s Hospice; aesthetics; death and dying; liminality; palliative care; place-making

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Community Artist

Publication date: 22 August 2011

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  • The Journal of Applied Arts and Health serves a wide community of artists, researchers, practitioners and policy-makers evidencing the effectiveness of the interdisciplinary use of arts in health and arts for health. It provides a forum for the publication and debate within an interdisciplinary field of arts in healthcare and health promotion. The journal defines 'health' broadly which includes physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, occupational, social and community health.
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