Grief — A Work in Progress is a performance, video and publication by artist Zoe Papadopoulou, in collaboration with Dr Kirsten Smith from the University of Oxford, Deborah Coughlin founding director of all female performance company Gaggle and Dr Caitlin Hitchcock from the Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit at the University of Cambridge.
From the moment a loved one is given a terminal diagnosis, till their death and beyond, caregivers suffer a barrage of physical, cognitive and psychological grief reactions. The way end of life is experienced - particularly in a hospital setting - and the way information is communicated by medical professionals can have a long lasting impact on the grieving process. It is ultimately the traumatic memories that are relived after a death, for some this can lead to prolonged or complicated grief.
With advice and support from Dr Kirsten Smith, Zoe devised a series of creative workshops to act as alternatives to bereavement groups in order to acknowledge, embrace and record the complexities of grief. The individuals who participated in the workshops have taken part in a performance at the Southbank Centre, during the Belief and Beyond Belief Festival. Their collective experience of death and grief informed the content of the performance as a shared collection of memories of the grieving process.
Supported by a Wellcome Trust Arts Award