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Theresa Clarke

Identity Crisis

Erik Erikson a German developmental psychologist, coined the phrase ‘identity crisis’, this concept originates from his theory of psychosocial development from infancy to maturity and ultimately death. Erikson believed that “identity is something that shifts and grows throughout life as people confront new challenges and tackle different experiences” (Cherry, 2020).

I believe I am experiencing an identity crisis. My role in life has recently undergone significant changes as my family have grown up and moved away and my husband moves into semi-retirement. I now feel somewhat set adrift, I am no longer that full time wife and mother whose part-time job fitted around the needs of the family. Coming to HCA to study has been part of the process to address my ‘Identity crisis’.

Using Ericsson’s eight stages of development I have chosen to explore my own identity through everyday objects from my own life and that also relate to each of his stages of development.

The resulting hand-crafted kimono is the story of my life in objects, objects that identify myself. Objects that are important to me and are a true reflection of myself. The panels of cotton velvet have been printed with a kaleidoscope of objects created from a series pf paper collages using the Adobe Capture App. The panels have been stitched together so they can be read like a book, starting at the top and reading left to right. Each fabric panel represents a stage in my personal identity development. The paper collages have then been translated into hand painted and free-motion stitched panels which have been used to line the kimono. Each carefully considered everyday object has a tale to tell about myself and my life.