I had the good opportunity to be in Dublin recently and saw the relocated Francis Bacon studio at Dublin City Gallery, the Hugh Lane.
Ah, what small moments of joy.
driving change through collaborative research
Here at Manchester Met we are developing some ground-breaking research agendas, particularly exploring the complexity of substance use - disorder and recovery. This free one-day event, a collaboration between the Substance Use and Addictive Behaviours Research Group (SUAB), the Arts and Health Research Group and Portraits of Recovery (PORe), is developing research around the vital role that the arts and culture can play in the lives of people and communities affected by or in recovery from addiction. The event will showcase pioneering projects and artists that encompass local, national and European projects and will facilitate an exploration of future, more inclusive, interdisciplinary research collaborations with cultural partners.
This work builds on the radical history of Manchester, the birthplace of arts and health and the centre of a movement that has seen recovery from substance misuse emerge as a nascent recoverist movement, placing lived experience at the heart of social change, as personified in the Recoverist Manifesto.
So whilst I can't guarantee a place for everyone, please HOLD THE DATE: Tuesday 25th April at The Manchester School of Art.
More details soon.
Celebrating Age and Ageing with Master Students
This week saw the fourth cohort of masters students from the Manchester School of Art, curating a public exhibition and workshops around the theme of ageing. This 11-strong group had opted to work with me on the Arts, Health and Wellbeing unit. I'm often asked why I don't run a stand-alone masters, and whilst it's something I'm considering, a small focused grouping like this, gives the opportunity not only for some strong collaborative research, but some good real-world experience. From public exhibitions and developing new research engagement methodologies, to designing research publications and deep emersion in the early recoverist agenda, I'm proud to be part of a new wave of socially engaged artists who aren't yet polluted by the dictates of self-styled 'venture philanthropists' that pollute the cultural landscape.
The demise of the monstrous Wicked Witch of the East
Children’s Hospital Arts – The Poor Relation of The Poor Relation?
"Too often art commissioning in children’s hospitals has been patronising and clichéd, or simply relegated to an afterthought. Not only is it ‘just’ hospital art, it’s also ‘just’ for children.
If I had a penny for every time we’ve been asked to put something ‘fun’ up on the hospital walls, we could have bought a Picasso by now. I’ve lost count of the number of times it’s been suggested we just provide some glitter and colouring for the kids on the wards. Nothing wrong with a bit of glitter, but it’s no substitute for a quality creative arts programme.
The recently formed Paediatric Hospital Arts Network aims to promote and support arts teams in children’s hospitals – recognising the particular need and context of these settings. For instance, how does our work intersect with services you would only find in a children’s hospital – such as Play Therapy or Hospital Schools? There is pioneering work being done across the sector, such as the magnificent new Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, and innovative arts programmes at Evelina, Edinburgh Sick Kids, Artfelt in Sheffield, and Lime Arts in Manchester, plus many others..."
Want to know more? Then here's a great blog posting from Susannah Hall who is Joint Head of Arts at GOSH Arts. Click HERE to read it in full.