Healing House I: A Material Phenomenology of Illness


  • Darian Goldin Stahl Concordia University




This paper is a deep investigation into one art installation, Healing House I, which materializes the lived experience of being diagnosed with a chronic illness. This artwork is part of a collaborative project between artist Darian Goldin Stahl and her sister, Devan Stahl, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Together, they use a phenomenological methodology to express the disconnections between the lived body and the body object that can occur after a diagnosis, as well as the conditions necessary to mend this separation. Joining fleshy material, sound, vibration, and scent in this artwork, Goldin Stahl analyses how a multi-sensory and artistic interpretation of her sister’s illness narratives can tacitly communicate one experience of living with MS. In sharing this artwork with others in a disability arts exhibition, the sisters aim towards fostering a collective, intercorporeal understanding and empathy for the ill body.

Author Biography

Darian Goldin Stahl, Concordia University

Darian Goldin Stahl is an interdisciplinary printmaker and health humanities researcher. She recently defended her PhD in Humanities from Concordia University and holds an MFA in Printmaking from the University of Alberta. Darian was awarded a SSHRC Vanier Scholarship to complete her research-creation dissertation, “Book as Body: The Meaning-Making of Artists’ Books in the Health Humanities,” which investigates how artists' books can become multi-sensory archives of lived experience on the topics of illness, disability, health, and wellbeing. In the Fall of 2021, she will commence a Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Northern British Columbia Medical Program to forge rural creative health practices and health humanities pedagogies. To view this work, please visit Darian’s website: www.dariangoldinstahl.com



How to Cite

Stahl, D. G. (2021). Healing House I: A Material Phenomenology of Illness. Canadian Journal of Disability Studies, 10(2), 27–42. https://doi.org/10.15353/cjds.v10i2.787