School of Visual and Performing Arts


Master of Fine Arts in Graphic Design (MFA)


Stacy V. Cannon


5 Stages of Grief, Design, Grief, Grief Therapy, Image, Photography


Digital Humanities | Graphic Design | Photography


Grief is an emotion that people have felt since the beginning of time, but in modern culture, there is a lack of visual representation of the five stages of grief. Because grief is a highly personal and unique experience, it can be difficult to visualize what those stages may look like for the mass population. However, if one could develop an understanding of what each stage includes, as well as a study of the thoughts and feelings of those who have experienced grief, this research could aid in the creation of an accurate representation of the stages of grief. The subject of grief is hard for some people to understand and empathize with because they are not the ones personally experiencing the pain. For those who are going through the grieving process, it can be hard to articulate feelings and emotions. Therefore, the purpose of this thesis is to create a body of photographs that fully depicts the five stages of grief: shock/disbelief and denial, anger, bargaining/guilt, depression, and acceptance/hope. The design aims to bridge gaps in understanding and help people connect their thoughts and feelings to the imagery they are viewing in order to aid in the healing process.