Jennifer Chivers

Jennifer Chivers

There, there, don’t look like a scared little dove.

The whole thing is just sheer imagination 2012-2013

Oil and acrylic on canvas,metal bird cage, taxidermy bird wings


Plymouth University, BA (Hons) Fine Art

The imagery presented in this work explores domestic abuse and the way in which a person can be controlled and restrained by another. Domestic abuse is a very painful reality for many and I chose to explore the subject of art therapy as healing, through processing my own experience. The use of birds to reflect this subject was a way of distancing myself enough that the piece was not extremely personal and unapproachable but a figurative reflection of a dominant creature, represented by the overlooking bird of prey, taking advantage of and confining something weaker or more vulnerable. The cage represents a relationship and the bodiless winged ‘puppet’ one who is controlled and confined. The title comes from Ibsen’s play A Doll’s House which was a partial inspiration for the piece. I wanted there to be a theatrical element so that there was a chance for the viewer to interact and play with the puppet, to reflect the use of a person as a toy. Creating work towards this piece has been helpful in discovering unconscious feelings and emotions. This has enabled me to address them in a positive and healing way that therefore demonstrates the validity of art therapy as healing.


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