Kathryn Brandon: Adrift: An Exploration of Grief

Artist Statement

Growing up I always seemed to know exactly how to articulate my feelings. I was not afraid of experiencing and communicating the large expanse of emotions that are typical with adolescence. This changed after the devastating loss of my aunt - a parental figure whom I believed to be a permanent, indispensable part of my life.

I learned that emotions can be destructive and agonizing and I felt overtaken by the intensity of grief. As I got older I realized that feelings of loss would never disappear and I began to feel curious about the experience. I cautiously explored grief and began to feel comfortable allowing myself to truly feel the emotions I had buried for years.

In this curiosity I began “Adrift: an Exploration of Grief”. Throughout the creation of this zine I allowed myself to examine this mysterious human experience and created an artistic representation of this journey. The zine is a 4.5” x 7” booklet that includes text, illustrations, and photos. It also includes artwork created by my aunt over 20 years ago and an essay about grief interwoven throughout the pages. Each page is saturated with personal representations of my own grief - from jewelry gifted from my aunt to a tracing of my own tattoo - to represent the highly unique and personal experience grief is.


About the Project 

  • Title of Work: Adrift: An Exploration of Grief
  • Medium: 4.5" x 7" Zine
  • Student's Name: Kathryn Brandon
  • Major: Art
  • Anticipated Graduation Date: Dec 2023
  • Hometown: Lebanon, Missouri, USA
  • Student's Mentor: Deborah Huelsbergen
  • Mentor's Department: Art