The visual object: a study of emotional and psychological attachment and response

Marden, Charlotte (2014) The visual object: a study of emotional and psychological attachment and response. BA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    Lavender, or Lavandula, is a genus of 39 species of flowering plants in the mint family, Lamiaceae. Its sweet aroma made it suitable for use in perfumes and medicines from Roman times, through the Middle Ages, up to the present day. The flower itself, in colour and form, signifies purity, luck, silence and devotion; and one such flower lays pressed in a handkerchief in a fudge tin that resides on my shelf. Saved from a funeral, the flower was pressed, its dry body serving as a reminder of a series of sad moments, among them the grandmother I have lost. Yet I kept it; though at the time I did not know why. It seemed strange I keep something with the ability to conjure memories of mourning and grief, but it was here I realised that though the meaning of the object was derived from sadness, the flower served as a reminder of the person I love. By association, the object provided comfort and thus a stepping stone to happiness. This sentimental value we place on objects is intriguing, complex and seemingly illogical, yet it is a universal notion that can be appreciated by all. The object becomes a tool, a means towards countless forms of gratification, from the superstitious with their lucky charms, to hoarders sat in over flowing homes, it is the personal relationships in conjunction with the unique narratives and reasoning behind the objects attributed to them that make up one of the most sensitive and interesting areas of living; it is this that will provide the focus of this writing. With a utilisation of anthropological, philosophical and psychological theory in conjunction with historical and contemporary examples of visual culture, this piece will explore the ever curious concept of emotional attachment and response to ‘the object’.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries > School of Art and Design
    Depositing User: Beth Atkins
    Date Deposited: 08 Aug 2014 11:07
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 12:39

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