Our brains are amazing. They are complex and divine. They are tangible and transcendent. They are the source of all thought and action. They regulate our heartbeat and make it skip a beat, they fire our imaginations and let us build what we dream; they trigger our beliefs and allow us to speak them aloud.
Our brains are the most complex structures in the known universe. For centuries they have challenged scientists and artists to unlock their mysteries yet so much is still unknown. They are our final frontier.
So when our mental health fails us does the answer lie in the physical body, the disembodied mind or somewhere in-between? And to whom should we look to for explanation?
"Tamsin and Paul supplied the full exhibition content and materials and worked to create an immediate, innovative and inspiring exhibition which provided visitors with an opportunity to participate and to respond to the thought provoking work on display. The ‘What is Your Anti-Depressant’ exhibition participatory display provided additional source material around which Paul and Tamsin could curate an exhibition discussion event with staff members and patients, and provided the basis for ongoing research and art projects.
The exhibition, Is it Science or Art? raised discussion around the idea of the ‘patient behind their diagnosis’, and the idea of ‘what matters ?’ to each individual patient, and seen through an arts perspective, elucidated how the creative arts can assist in communication, and in the healing and recovery process for patients. Understanding medical terminology, the use of metaphor to communicate feelings around ill-health and conditions, small acts of kindness, and a liberation for patients in terms of how they could express themselves through the arts were all highlighted within this exhibition. Medical staff were fascinated by the exhibition, and Psychologists from Hafan y Coed, the Adult Mental Health Unit at UHL were eager for Paul and Tamsin to facilitate further discussion events with staff members in the unit.
The ‘findings’ from the exhibition, and the discussions raised, have enormous potential for both staff members and patients both within the hospital environment and within the community. We were particularly impressed with Four in Four’s ability to express complicated medical and health issues through the medium of art as a means of elucidating the need for a patient based approach, with a focus on creative listening as a means of improving patient care and providing the greatest opportunity for holistic healing and recovery through expression."
Arts in Health Project Manager
Arts Team, Cardiff & Vale Health Charity