Victoria Tolchard: Grieving Through Art

Victoria Tolchard is an art therapist specialising in bereavement support. Her mum died of cancer when Victoria was 22 years old, and Victoria is currently creating a book designed to help people understand and talk about death and the process of dying.

Victoria joins Dr Lesel Dawson, a lecturer from the University of Bristol, to discuss the importance of spending time with the person who is dying, to be able to create memories and to say what needs to be said.

A key way in which Victoria encourages bereaved people to share their feelings and emotions is through art. Art can allow adults and children to express and process their grief in ways that go beyond words. Art allows grievers to share their own stories either singly or in groups, with such storytelling crucial to the grief recovery process.

Dr Lesel Dawson is a Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Bristol, specialising in grief, Renaissance literature and the history of the emotions. She’s leading a research project on Creative Grieving and writing a book that explores how art and the imagination can enable the bereaved to express and process their loss.


Dr Lesel Dawson

Victoria Tolchard

Victoria Tolchard