LIVING IN BETWEEN | Mandy Archibald
Mandy Archibald (@Mandy_Archibald) is a Registered Nurse, visual artist, and PhD Candidate in the Faculty of Nursing, University of Alberta. Since 2007 she has been practicing as a pediatric nurse in the surgery and oncology units at the Stollery Children’s Hospital, Edmonton, Alberta. In her PhD research, Archibald merged the arts and sciences to develop digital, patient-driven, arts and research-based educational materials for parents of children with asthma. Her research interests involve health communications and knowledge translation in child and maternal health, approaches to understanding and addressing the health literacy and educational needs of under-served populations, and mixed methods and arts-based research approaches.
Artist's note: "Living In Between" is a visual exploration of the fluidity of health, and a reflection on life events that hold the potential to threaten concepts of selfhood, namely, the“self as healthy”or the “self as ill.” In this work, the tensions between the ill and well self are reflected through use of la Dia de los Muertos (the day of the dead) imagery: a seemingly morbid symbolism that is in fact part of a vibrant celebration of individuals lives passing. Similarly, clear dichotomies between health and illness are in many ways, arbitrary; often, our experiences of health and illness exist in degrees, residing in the spaces in between these two concepts. However, Western healthcare practices are often predicated on such clear distinctions. Experiences and phenomena that oppose classification are sanctioned to a space of limbo – a gray space, one that eludes diagnosis and measurement, one that exists in between.