King’s Cultural Community

Showcasing success 2017–18

Arts in Mind Festival

Artists and academics bring new insights to mental health and wellbeing


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Arts in Mind Festival, a week-long celebration of arts and mental health at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN), showcased work that explored new ways to improve wellbeing and bring about a better understanding of mental health, the brain and the mind. Marking the 20th anniversary of the IoPPN joining King’s, the festival brought to life creative collaborations between artists and the Faculty’s world-leading psychiatrists, psychologists and neuroscientists.

During the festival, topics as diverse as psychological wellbeing in pregnancy, prolonged tactile deprivation, and aural and visual mood enhancers were explored. At the Sound Mind concert, which took place at St John the Divine, Kennington, audience members were immersed in the music of Arvo Pärt, John Cage and Terry Riley while viewing psychedelia-inspired visuals through VR headsets, stimulating creativity and wellbeing. Led by addictions and mental health Researcher Dr Sally Marlow in collaboration with Pianist Christina McMaster and Department of Addictions Artist-in-residence Teresa Albor, the project team also held a scratch orchestra workshop in which participants performed Terry’s Riley’s 1964 composition In C.

Other highlights included Talking Heads, an exhibition exploring the phenomenon of hearing voices and hallucination through drawings and a binaural monologue installation, Without Touch, a short multisensory piece inviting audiences to experience stories and memories of prolonged tactile deprivation. Another workshop, Losing One’s Sense of Self, explored the effects of frontal lobe brain damage.

Through more than 40 one-off events, open discussions, performances and workshops, the Arts in Mind Festival sought to draw people into King’s from the local community and far beyond.

In this way, the festival opened up cutting-edge research through cultural interpretations and connected the university’s communities, local and global artists, and partners across London and further afield with the work of the IoPPN.

Read the Arts in Mind Festival report.

The Arts in Mind Festival has both inspired and energised. It has brought together educators, researchers and artists to produce work that will have an enduring legacy, not only at the IoPPN, but far beyond: it will influence how people think about art, about science and about how the two domains inter-relate.

Professor Patrick Leman, Dean of Education, IoPPN

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