5 stages of post-election grief

The Wee Folk Players (They’re a Stitch) presents 5 Stages of Post-Election Grief: An American Drama. Is it possible to reach stage 5?

5 stages.indd

Thank you to my my sister Anne Mavor for contributing her graphic design skills and my husband Rob Goldsborough for making the video. Below are a selection of shots of the cast with intimate glimpses backstage of makeup, hair, wardrobe and rehearsal sessions.





The Wee Folk Players are busy writing and directing new episodes in the American Drama Series. To keep up with new posts, subscribe to this blog (top right column on the home page). And for a wide ranging look at new and old material from my studio, please follow along on Instagram and Facebook. And to find out about my post-election satire, please read  this interview.


34 thoughts on “5 stages of post-election grief

  1. Spot on! It is funny even though it’s tragic. You are on a wonderful artistic rant! Keep on keeping on! I love the process photos too. Thank you, Salley, for your amazing work.

    • Ditto for me. I actually feel better for the first time in weeks after viewing the 5 stages of Grief. Thank you, so much for sharing all you do.

  2. I have much HOPE that our nation is going to get back on track. I wasn’t too happy the last 8 yrs. as I watched racial division tear apart my country after over 40 years of so much progress, saw my health care costs go from $100. per month of which I paid for health care/vision/dental to almost $800. for healthcare and deductible about 5 times what it was before with NO dental or vision coverage & do-pays doubled & tripled–and then immigrants brought in who are not friendly or accepting of our way of life and are receiving FREE healthcare/benefits. We the hardworking Americans got screwed.

  3. That is Halarious!!! I am visiting my son now in Wisconsin (at -3) and I am amazed how many people are going throught the same emotions regarding the elections..even teenagers..they are in disbelief.

  4. Oh, my… so sorry to see this. I agree with VB501, above. I have hope for the first time in 8 years! SO sorry that even a favorite artist of mine has gotten political and now the focus has changed. Anyone that was surprised by the outcome of the election has *not* been paying attention. Enough said. I’m not getting into it here. All this time the artworld has been relatively free of such discussion… a safe place to go; for inspiration, for distraction….for anything *but* politics (because that’s everywhere else!!) and now even this space isn’t sacred. It’s a sad day. 😦

    • Thank you for commenting Teri. I can certainly understand how you feel sad and perhaps even betrayed by my new direction. It’s shocking because you’ve come to depend on my artwork as a safe refuge from the ugliness of the world. I am not by nature a political person, but I believe that speaking out through art is important for the health of our democracy, especially now. Art isn’t always nice and it sometimes requires a point of view which can be confronting, depending on a person’s background and beliefs. The election isn’t the only reason my focus is different, although it was the tipping point. For some time, I’ve been exploring more topical subjects and addressing world events, so I see this as a natural evolution. All I know is that I have not felt this free and creatively engaged since art school 40 years ago. There is no question in my mind that this is what I have to do now, no matter what the the reaction is. I am inspired by this quote from Lyndon Johnson. He said, on signing into existence the National Endowment of the Arts, ” Art is a nation’s most precious heritage. For it is in our works of art that we reveal to ourselves and to others the inner vision which guides us as a nation. And where there is no vision, the people perish.”

      • I am getting similar criticism because I showed “be happy” art for years and years on social media. It was never my intent to be a safe harbor for bad feelings. I am not happy right now and I am not averse to exploring why. You are brave and I am in awe of your recent work. As you know I am a long time fan. Art makes people think…as well as amuse and/or delight.

      • Art has been used throughout history for social commentary. Picasso’s Guernica comes to mind. Expressing ones thoughts and feelings through ones art is natural and honest.

  5. I’m not sure step 5 can be achieved….hopefully only 4 years and it will be over. Just hope the ripple effect doesn’t go too far into the future.

  6. I’m totally with you, Salley, and glad you are using your artwork to help everyone focus on political issues. I’m sorry not everyone agrees with you, but we need to encourage discussion of issues and consider different points of view. I hope those who spoke up here disapproving of your stand hang in there and continue to follow your blog. I find I’m actively avoiding listening to, reading, and watching the news now because I’m still in phase 1 and can’t cope with the news stories on top of what’s going on in my own life right now. It’s too easy to cover your ears and hum and ignore what we don’t like to hear. I hope your followers who are “celebrating” help us to understand why they chose to vote for Trump instead of Clinton. We need to find a common ground that appeals to more people rather than splits us into what I heard a commentator on Charlie Rose describe as tribes, like the Sunnis and Shiites. We need to come together as a country, but we need to talk to accomplish that.

  7. I love the direction in which your art is moving. Personally, I am just beginning to leave the stage of being shocked, sad, and paralyzed. It has robbed me of my creative passion, which for me, is nothing short of a tragedy. Your work gives voice to our emotions, thoughts, and feelings. Please keep “speaking.”

  8. Love it, Salley. Every morning I wake up wondering, what’s he done now? I seem to be in a constant state of anxiety. Flying to Florida tomorrow to spend Christmas with our younger daughter. Maybe the change of climate will clear my brain! Merry Christmas!

  9. I commented on FB, but will repeat myself here, too.

    This little person’s expression does not look so accepting in the stage 5 photo. She still looks angry to me, and rightfully so. I’m with you Salley; there is no accepting this situation in our government.

  10. Thank you for mirroring my angst about the election and its unfolding results in your art. I am sorry about the divisions in our country and realize that there are a myriad of reasons why people voted for the president-elect. However as a creators of beauty, as you do in your artwork and as I do as well in my artwork, it doesn’t feel right to stand by idly and not call out the ugliness in the words and actions of this president elect. Thank you for your effort.

  11. For an artist, the creative process is a way to deal with what’s going on in the world. I felt so helpless and angry during the war in Iraq and channeled it into making water colors based on news photos of the conflict. It empowered me and kept me from passive depression. I think you must be experiencing something like that with the new work, Keep it going.

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