Catherine Cartwright

Commenced: PhD October 2019

Draft title: “The Sitter Becomes Assertive: Examining Portraiture and its impacts on the artist, the sitter and the viewer through trauma-informed practice”.

Catherine’s research is interested in the experience of women recovering from abuse and trauma and how this can be expressed through portraiture. Portraiture made via a collaborative process that enables autonomy on the part of the sitter and potential for their empowerment.

For her research she will work in close partnership with Devon Rape Crisis and Sexual Abuse Services to devise a safe working method to make co-produced portraits with women affected by abuse and trauma.

Through her research she plans to create a trauma-led framework for artists who work with vulnerable individuals. There is currently a shift in the approach taken by public health services to become ‘trauma-informed’  and ‘trauma-led’, and her research responds to this by asking, what would it mean to have an arts sector that understands what ‘trauma-led’ means?

Supervisory Team: Dr Sarah Bodman and Prof. Jo Little (University of Exeter)

Catherine Cartwright is part of the SWW Doctoral Training Partnership funded by the AHRC.

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