Grants awarded: Small Arts Awards
Project summaries of Wellcome grants awarded under the scheme ‘Small Arts Awards’. Small Arts Awards have been replaced by the Public Engagement Fund.
Previously, Small Arts Awards funded new artistic projects that enabled artists and audiences to explore health research.
The Shape of the Pain
I will collaborate with writer Chris Thorpe to develop and tour a new theatre production. This includes a seven-week period of research, rehearsals and production, a four-week run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and a three-week run in London.
The play will be based on my own experience of living with complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS). It will explore living with chronic pain and how it alters our senses. The production will be an artistic and scientific collaboration, bringing together medical research and an unique theatrical language.
Having undertaken two R&D periods, the project has established key medical collaborators who are vital to the development process, including Dr Helen Cohen and Professor George Ikkos, Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, Dr Giandomenico Iannetti and Dr Ana Tajadura Jimenez, UCL, and Professor Candy McCabe, UWE, all currently involved in cutting edge research into pain.
Invisible Flock Ltd
Hold is an R&D project exploring the creation of a series of networked sculptures, life-size translucent figures in public spaces that awaken when they are touched or held. Invisible Flock will collaborate with Professor of Affective Interaction and Computing Nadia Berthouze (UCL) to explore the relationship between touch, sense and loneliness, and the effects of touch deprivation on our physical and mental well-being.
As part of this R&D we will develop prototypes exploring how the physiological effects of being held manifest themselves inside the sculptures as evolving patterns of light and heat, using the technology to develop a relationship between the participant and the objects.
In a world of online social networks and connected technologies, intimacy and human interaction is shifting. Can technology heighten intimacy and help isolated people feel more connected? This project will visualise the biological effects of touch and connectivity in the body through a series of playful and interactive public artworks.
This collaboration will draw on my experiences of growing up on a farm and Michiko Nitta’s experiences of growing up through the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan. We will explore how heavy metals in the landscape where we live and grow food affect our personalities, bodies and health.
Audiences will be invited to explore the ethical and social consequences of biomedical research on heavy metals from environmental sources. Through a collaboration with Dr Louise Horsfall from the University of Edinburgh, new synthetic biology tools will be explored to create engineered bacteria that can extract valuable nano-metals from our food and environmental sources such as the air, in an external digestive system machine.
New art pieces will be made with the resulting metals as a representation of the landscape’s impact on the body and its ability to go beyond the familiar saying of ‘we are what we eat’ to illustrate ‘we are where we live’.
DOT – a new play exploring internet addiction/screen time
Skyping the grandchildren, using social media or playing more than six hours of video games a day – when does our relationship with screens and the internet tip over into pathology? DOT will be a new play by award-winning playwright Clare Bayley written in collaboration with Experimental Psychologist Dr Andrew Przybylski from the Oxford University Internet Institute and Pete Etchells, Senior Lecturer in Biological Psychology at the Bath Spa University. As Metta Theatre Artistic Director, I will direct the play using extensive video design by William Reynolds to create a visually stunning, form-breaking new work.
Written for two women – one older, one younger – DOT continues Metta’s commitment to represent diversity on stage, encouraging young female audiences and those from BAME backgrounds who rarely see themselves as protagonists on our stages.
Using interconnected stories of characters with different relationships to screen time, DOT will use video projection to visually explore contemporary research into the impact of screen time and internet use on our bodies and brains.
Lucida is an immersive moving image installation, a touring exhibition and an artist’s publication that all explore the human eye, vision and the brain. The project brings together the diverse, subjective perspectives of scientists, psychologists and ordinary people who each have their own compelling story about vision.
The artwork uses moving images as a starting point to unlock and investigate how multiple projections of the world focus on: the physical structure of the human eye; the latest biomedical research and theory about how the brain processes and interprets sensory perception to create sight; and the role that art can play in providing metaphors to understand what perception means.
Lucida seeks to make the viewer distinctly aware of seeing by bringing the perceptual process – including its flaws, imperfections and assumptions – to the forefront.
Abu Omar Is Waiting for You
Abu Omar Is Waiting for You – a line taken from a human smuggler’s online advert – is a project by myself and fellow artist Saeed Taji Farouky exploring the way in which threat and loss, including loss of social meaning, arising from migration and displacement can give rise to trauma and how this shapes the perception of self.
The project will be founded on in-depth, long-term collaboration with ten 16-19-year-old UK-based refugees and asylum seekers. We will look at how trauma presents in the body and the coping strategies used to contain it. We will ask whether re-framing traumatic events as stories can heal them and how the experience of life can be changed by the experience of threat.
It will culminate in at least one public exhibition showing wood-cut and etched prints, sculpture, film and photography, a free multilingual printed publication and a public conference exploring psychiatry and art in the context of the current migration crises.
Hysteria 2017: R&D for four arts commissions (visual arts, moving image, music, performing/live art)
The main aim of this project is to conduct R&D for four arts commissions on the theme of hysteria for the Hysteria 2017 public engagement festival. Four commissions in visual arts, moving image, music and performing arts will explore the various iterations of hysteria, from its emergence as a diagnostic category in the 19th century that was mostly applied to women, to the contemporary understanding of conversion disorder.
The commissions involve close collaboration between artists, clinical specialists and a medical historian. They will explore the history of hysteria as one that charts the efforts of psychological medicine to understand how traumatic experiences can be experienced as problems with the motor and sensory functions of the body.
The four commissions will examine different aspects of hysteria in light of contemporary society in order to engage audiences with the relationship between psychological trauma and physical illness.
tutti frutti Productions
Wild! will be a one-person show that unravels the story of a boy with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). ADHD affects about 5% of children worldwide, so on average there is a child with diagnosed or undiagnosed ADHD in most classrooms.
Working with the Centre for ADHD and Neurodevelopmental Disorders across the Lifespan (CANDAL), tutti frutti will bring insight and understanding to this complex topic, allowing the audience to identify with the boy and go on a journey through his experiences in a sensitive, empathetic but fun and accessible way.
In partnership with Professor David Daley from CANDAL and his team, and researched with ADHD patient groups, the play will explore emotions and behaviours associated with ADHD, with support material in the programmes, online and at the theatre outlining current biomedical science and explaining the use of medication and behavioural intervention. Wild! will be performed to children aged 8-12 years, their teachers and families across the UK.
Database Addiction 2.0
In 2015 YoHa worked with the Clinical Addictions Group at South London and Maudsley (SLaM) NHS Foundation Trust to produce Database Addiction, a research project using art as a method of enquiry to explore how databases become a strategy in action, a multi-scalar technology of power constructing the governance of addiction centres.
After this R&D phase, Database Addiction 2.0 artistically problematises databases from the inverse point of view of the clinic by creating a database built for and with addicts. At its heart, this is a critical interrogation into the formation and flow of power created through the formation and interaction with the database as they intersect with the lives of those who have addictions.
We will set up a simple technological method by which an anonymised network of addicts support each other through text messaging and online access. Background aggregation will then be used to create an open database that is useful to addicts and create a critical tool for public engagement.
Grand Union Orchestra
Some diseases attract billions of pounds in research funding while others languish unnoticed. This partly reflects the number of people affected, but it is also about who suffers from a disease, whether they are insiders or outsiders, rich or poor, us or them, and whether the disease causes moral or physical panic.
I will work with Elisabeth Pisani, an epidemiologist with no talent for music, to investigate research funding in order to express inequity in human experience.
We will broaden this discussion using music. The multicultural Grand Union Orchestra will bring together musicians from the many ethnicities of East London to discuss disease and equity with students of global health. Pisani will ‘quantify’ the discussions statistically and the statistics will be translated into a musical performance, Germinations, that reveals the dissonance between the burden of disease and investment in health research in an emotionally engaging performance.
I Told My Mum I was on an RE Trip
I Told My Mum I was on an RE Trip is the working title of a new verbatim theatre production that will explore experiences and stories of abortion – with particular focus on young people. The R&D period will see director Julia Samuels collaborate with UCL academic and abortion education expert Dr Jayne Kavanagh to understand the topic and gather interviews from people from varied social and geographical backgrounds. This will include academics, young people, abortion service staff and campaigners. We will gather voices from across the spectrum of opinion, to learn about abortion and its place in contemporary healthcare and society.
RE Trip will consist of a script created from these interviews which will be toured nationally to venues, education environments and community spaces. It will provoke discussion on a topic often omitted from young peoples’ education and considered a social taboo.
Through carefully considered wraparound activities, including post-show discussions, workshops, playtexts and resource packs, young people and educators will gain tools to continue conversations and learning about abortion.
Cemetery, directed by artist Carlos Casas, is an immersive film and audio-visual installation inspired by the legend of the elephant cemetery – a place where elephants instinctively go to die.
It explores sensory and audio-visual perception, questioning and pushing the boundaries of cinematic experience. Drawing inspiration from elephant communication, it will present new ways of using sound as a sensory bond with the spectator.
The project will involve a collaboration between sound-recording artist Chris Watson, sound engineer Tony Myatt, bio-acoustician and elephant communication expert Dr Joyce Poole, and a conversation with psychologist and specialist in infrasound perception Richard Wiseman. It will focus on infrasonic recordings of elephants and will present the rich sonic world of elephants and their interactions with man.
Re-gendering the Body: The Scar as Signifier
This project will investigate the impact of surgical procedures on transgender people who are undergoing gender reassignment.
The project aims to highlight the highly sensitive and challenging task of re-gendering the body as a form of artistic sculpting. It will do this by producing a new sculptural work and the documentation of a one-day roundtable discussion. A central theme for the development of the new sculptural work will be a focus on the natural scarring that occurs after the surgical shaping of the body from one gender to another.
These permanent traces on the skin can be artistically interpreted as a universal signifier for transgender bodies and identities, raising questions over what kind of ‘artistic training’ is in place in biomedical science for those working in the field of gender reassignment surgery.
Belarus Free Theatre
Tomorrow I was always a lion: investigating psychosis and recovery
Belarus Free Theatre (BFT), with collaborators including scientific consultants and clinical practitioners working with young people, will create a theatrical and digital production based on the memoir ‘A Road Back from Schizophrenia’ by Norwegian psychologist Arnhild Lauveng.
By bringing together contributors from across disciplines, the project aims to examine a range of questions raised by the memoir, including the nature of recovery from schizophrenia as opposed to managing and living with the condition, the factors that affect vulnerability to psychosis and recovery and the interplay between genetic factors and environmental conditions in the manifestation of psychosis. It will also look at the social and cultural explanations and interpretations of disease and how they affect stigma.
Through collaboration with Young Minds and performance runs in London, Falmouth and Manchester, BFT will engage diverse audiences in dialogue about the nature of mental illness, recovery, and social interpretations.
Tamasha Theatre Company
New Families is the working title for a collaboration between Tamasha Theatre Company, the Centre for Family Research (CFR) at Cambridge University and youth theatre Generation Arts. It will examine the experiences of young people born by assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) and use the findings to produce a 40-minute play for young people.
Tamasha playwright Satinder Chohan will work as writer-in-residence at CFR, exploring its work and developing creative ideas in collaboration with senior research associate Dr Vasanti Jadva. The resulting show will provide a platform for CFR’s public engagement with curated events featuring artists, academics and biomedical researchers to engage audiences with the social and cultural implications of advances in ARTs.
Video in Common
The Night Shift
The Night Shift is an art and science research collaboration with Russell Foster from the Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute (SCNi), University of Oxford. The outcome will be a film and publication supported by Video in Common and The Czech Centre.
The project centres on shift workers in London who safeguard and maintain the city as we sleep. Since 2008 the proportionate number of people in shift work has steadily increased, mostly in the fields of healthcare, personal protection, transport and communications. The Night Shift will explore this growing phenomenon of night-time work, connecting this relatively short era in labour history to the longer-term biological evolutions of sleep, circadian rhythm, metabolism, hibernation, laziness, etc.
Through discussion groups, public forums and new artwork, we will ask what effect this working pattern has on general health and well-being and will look to develop wider awareness of the associated biological and neurological effects of night work as well as the social impact on shift workers and their families.
This grant will fund R&D into SBM, with Dr Stephani Hatch, Dr Denese Shervington, Dr Mark Ashworth and the Health Inequalities Research Network (HERON), to explore the over-representation of ethnic minorities in mental health services.
SBM is a dynamic multidisciplinary theatre piece that charts the journey of Al, who has made an epic graphic novel to explain to his friends and family that he can fly. The non-linear script will be performed using chorus, movement, video and music.
The scientific collaborators will help accurately represent the social determinants, experiences, care pathways and outcomes related to mental health disorders. The play aims to engage London’s African-Caribbean community and spark wider discussion about mental well-being and the impact of our preconceptions of mental health.
Mind the Gap
Daughters of Fortune: Mia
Stories of parents with learning disabilities usually feature in the media when the situation is sensational, for example when a child is removed from parents or a court enforces sterilisation. Daughters of Fortune: Mia is a piece of multidisciplinary theatre exploring learning disability and parenthood. It will divert this issue from the sensational to the rational, presenting a range of views through storytelling, performance, film, sound and music. It will illuminate the scientific and social complexities so audiences can be more informed.
As resident director of Mind the Gap, I will work in partnership with Professor Lucy Raymond from the Cambridge Institute of Medical Research and Goldsmith’s Disability Research Centre to create this multi-artform theatre experience that will be targeted at people with learning disabilities and their networks.
Mia combines real-life experience with genetic research to make a difficult subject matter accessible. We want audiences to reflect on their own experiences and leave with a deeper understanding of what it means to be a learning-disabled parent.
Dr Brian Lobel
There is a Light: BRIGHTLIGHT and Contact Young Company collaboration
BRIGHTLIGHT is the first major study of specialist cancer care for young people in England. There is a Light, created by Contact Young Company (CYC) in collaboration with BRIGHTLIGHT, the National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI), University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and University of Chichester, will be an original performance inspired by the study. It will feature four young people with cancer who will be cast alongside CYC’s regular performers.
There is a Light will tour to a range of public audiences, including to influential medical conferences and to the patient groups who have contributed to and benefit from the long-term, ground-breaking research, particularly the Find Your Sense of Tumour (FYSOT) Conference, the largest gathering of young people with cancer in Europe.
A programme of talkbacks and the development of a theatre programme will ensure a long-lasting and wide-ranging impact.
Professor Daria Martin
University of Oxford
Franz Kafka’s A Hunger Artist: exploring anorexia nervosa on film
Created through interdisciplinary and artistic collaborations, Franz Kafka’s A Hunger Artist, an adaptation of Kafka’s classic short story, will depict aspects of anorexia and psychology and invite contrasting vivid experiences of healthy embodiment. It will explore two opposing ways of looking: a voyeuristic gaze that objectifies and spectacularises the body, and a multimodal, embodied, phenomenological way of relating to images.
The film’s push and pull between these two ways of looking will result in new understandings of anorexia nervosa, as well as new experiences that challenge anorexia. General audiences will be prompted to feel and think through the question of how the media alters a bodily sense of self, for worse and for better.
My ethical exploration of these subjects will be in dialogue with research across a number of fields. I will draw on neuroscience, psychoanalysis and psychiatric treatment of eating disorders, as well Kafka’s first-person perspective.
The Yard Theatre Ltd
The Yard (TY) will create an epic theatre production exploring the history of the family over the past 100 years. I will develop this idea with Professor Marcus Pembrey, leader in the field of epigenetics, along with other respected researchers in sociology, anthropology and social history. We will develop a play that uses the story of 100 years of a single family to explore fundamental questions about family, inheritance, and identity.
Research will focus on how notions of the family have been deconstructed and reconstructed over time; how the experiences of our ancestors inform and shape who we are, even at a genetic level; and how national and global events generate ripples both in society at large, and in individual family units.
As a result of this, we will share both the first iteration of the play and a discussion of our research.
Dr Uriel Orlow
Theatrum Botanicum is a new multiscreen moving-image installation and collaborative community project that considers medicinal plants as dynamic agents linking nature and humans, rural and cosmopolitan medicine, and tradition and modernity. The project explores issues around the medical uses of plants in post-colonial, migratory and urban contexts in South Africa and the UK.
The installation connects contemporary practices of medicinal plant use in South Africa alongside a restaging of a 1940 trial against a traditional herbalist accused by the local white medical establishment of untraditional behaviour. It will lead to a multicultural medicinal plant garden at an inner-city care home in London, a publication and a public events programme.
Theatrum Botanicum asks where and why a medicine is considered alternative and how a plant is transformed into different products. Responding to the renewed interest in herbalism since the 1990s, the project will question dichotomies between traditional and modern medical systems.
The project will develop in collaboration with Michael Heinrich, Professor of Pharmacognosy at University College London, Ben-Erik van Wyk, Professor of Taxonomy and Ethnobotany at the University of Johannesburg, and Dr Karen Flint, Associate Professor of History at UNC Charlotte.
Grief – A Work in Progress
From the moment a loved one is given a terminal diagnosis until their death and beyond, bereaved caregivers suffer a barrage of physical, cognitive and psychological grief reactions. Developments in neuropsychology and technological advances in brain imaging has enabled clinical psychologists to research the effects grief can have.
Grief – A Work in Progress is a publication, video and performance piece that I will produce in collaboration with clinical psychologist Dr Kirsten Smith and Deborah Coughlin, the founding director of all female performance company Gaggle.
We will develop and run a series of workshops for a group of bereaved participants inspired by Dr Smith’s research on autobiographic memory, in order to construct an alternative choir and perform how grief is experienced by those affected in a thought-provoking and entertaining way.
Donmar Warehouse Projects
Nick’s new play perfectly addresses the Donmar Warehouse’s mission to combine theatre with thought and debate about relevant, important and difficult subjects.
ELEGY imagines a development in neuroscience that can remove degenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s from people but with controversial consequences.
It will put ethical and social issues around neuroscience centre stage at one of the UK’s most respected producing theatres.
Brainy: R&D for an aerial theatre performance collaboration between Scarabeus Aerial Theatre and the Neuroscience in Psychiatry Network (NSPN)
We will collaborate with NSPN neuroscientists on a new theatre project entitled Brainiac, part of a three-year trilogy created for and in consultation with young people aged 14-25. We wish to understand the structure of the teenage brain and use the results of the network’s U-Change programme as a starting point.
We will look at the structure of the healthy teenage brain using the latest neuroimaging techniques and data on measuring feelings and thoughts. We aim to understand the relationship between the structure of the brain and certain types of behaviour in teenagers and young adults, particularly regarding mood and conduct disorders, risk-taking, the sense of belonging and loneliness.
We will use this information to develop an aerial theatre production that will incorporate aerial dance and visual theatre, multimedia projections and a unique set design to immerse the audience in the inner workings of the teenage and young adult brain.
The Ballad of Peckham Rye
Correspondence O is an artistic collaboration with scientific neuroscientists. It will explore my response to current preoccupations with personal health, technology and self in comparison to a broader perception of public health and the common good found in the earlier history of public health. The Peckham Pioneer Centre, from which the title is borrowed, was established to bring together medical, social and community as an active demonstration of scientific and social progress for the common good.
I will connect the historical context with research in cognitive technology, to explore and reflect changing perceptions and the technologically-driven sense of personal well-being and public health.
The Peckham Pioneer Centre and its conversion into a gated community has been chosen for its significance, in parallel with the technology now applied to a deepening focus on ‘self’. This moving image installation will examine medical, social and artistic practice with a public exhibition and event series at the South London Gallery.
Dr Lise Smith
Depths of My Mind
Depths of My Mind will combine aerial skills with storytelling, aerial dance and physical theatre to explore the latest developments in neuroscience and neuroimaging connected to the teenage brain.
Scarabeus Aerial Theatre will create a new aerial theatre project presenting the results of the U-Change brain and mind research programme. In close collaboration with specialists from the Neuroscience in Psychiatry Network (NSPN), Scarabeus will devise a show that examines the relationship between the structure of the brain and certain types of behaviour in teenagers and young adults, with a particular emphasis on mood and conduct disorders, risk-taking, sense of belonging and loneliness. The performance installation, presented with Polka Theatre London, will incorporate aerial dance and multimedia projections to immerse the audience into the inner workings of the teenage brain.
Depths of My Mind is the second part of a three-year trilogy of work created for and in consultation with young people aged 12-25.
Made By Brick
Contender is a research project that will inform a new play about Olympic swimmers. Through consultation with experts including scientists, doctors, athletes and theatre artists, I aim to uncover the inherent drama of elite athletics.
In addition to the physical sacrifice and psychological hardship of competition, the project will explore biomedical and technological innovations that enable modern athletes to challenge and redefine the potential of the human body. It will also interrogate the bureaucratic, political and ethical landscape of world-class competition. If medals equal money, then the athlete’s body is a commodity and biomedical innovations are financially valuable. Contender will investigate the potential for corruption, such as match-rigging and the development of performance enhancement drugs, as well as the use of anti-doping tests, intelligence and other means of policing.
The project will be conducted in partnership with three lead collaborators: Professor Greg Whyte OBE, a former pentathlete and sport and exercise scientist of international renown; Team GB swimmer and two-time Commonwealth gold medalist Caitlin McClatchey; and Milt Nelms, international technical expert in aquatic sports.
Set in 2020, The Cure is a play that will imagine a high-profile medical scandal in a post-NHS Britain. Developed by theatre company Made By Brick in partnership with London’s National Theatre Studio, it will be made in consultation with research scientists, doctors, pharmacologists, health economists, bioethical specialists, medical journalists and critical thinkers, as well as a advisers on the US-style private system.
Money will be a silent but central character in the play. It is an unavoidable fact that new treatments for both chronic and life-threatening illnesses generate huge profits. The Cure will interrogate the ethical relationship between money, provision of care and professional duty.
It will consider how prioritising profit can negatively impact on our health – be that the publication of misleading trials or leaving effective drugs unlicensed. The play will also examine the positive attributes of financial ambition and whether a diverse marketplace promotes biomedical innovation.
Lucy Beech Commission
People with Morgellons disease experience immobilising sensations of crawling, biting and stinging under the surface of the skin, but this disorder is contested between patients and clinicians.
Scientists at the University of Liverpool and the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine are researching the clinical representation of the itch as an irrational perception, tactile hallucinations or feedback loops. In contrast, people with Morgellons, the majority women, convene online in a safe space to ‘prove’ and analyse this condition as a shared, physical reality.
Lucy Beech will create a film as a re-performed fictional documentary using research from those involved in the diagnosis of Morgellons. It will raise questions about the conflict of providing care on the fringes of clinical practice.
The film will consider alternative models for diagnosis, ways of viewing the body, and what effect these self-diagnosed communities might have on scientific understandings of perception.
Thomas Carter Projects
Adam’s Apple song cycle
The Adam’s Apple cycle of songs will be developed from R&D by Alex Bulmer and Errollyn Wallen looking at the neuroscience of voice production and how we physically adjust our voices to produce a desired effect. It will be based on interviews, research material and speech pathology documentation and the text/characters developed in a previous workshop.
The material will be shaped into a cycle of songs that reflect the scientific pathway of voice production. The song cycle will then be workshopped, rehearsed and performed by three LBGT choirs in London, Manchester and Blackpool.
Cap-a-Pie will collaborate with Dr Vivek Nityananda, a sensory biologist at Newcastle University’s Institute of Neuroscience, to produce a new theatre piece Six Legs (working title) to be performed at Ouseburn Farm, an urban community farm in Byker, Newcastle. Byker is an area of deprivation, and Cap-a-Pie will work to particularly target young people (aged 4-7 years) in the local area. The show poses the question: ‘How are insects similar or different to me?’
The performance will focus on comparative neuroscience and how different organisms solve sensory problems common to both humans and animals, and whether different nervous systems have similar or novel solutions to the same problems. These questions explore the evolution of nervous systems and the diversity of sensory strategies. The show immerses the audience into a self-created environment allowing them to interact with performers and encourages the audience/participants to observe and understand how organisms sense the world.
Free Word Centre
Who is Full? R&D project by Selina Nwulu
How does the food we eat affect our bodies? How does the food most readily on offer fail us?
Who is Full? is an exploration of health and well-being and the global food system. This 12-month R&D project will result in Young Poet Laureate for London, Selina Nwulu, creating a proposal for an interactive poetry project to be toured nationally and internationally. Informing its creation will be biomedical scientists Professor Montgomery and Professor Kessel, social scientist Professor Millstone and economist Kate Raworth.
A public engagement programme leading to the creation of a pamphlet of poetry and essays will test the impact of spoken word poetry to communicate to the public the urgent issues of climate change and its effect on our health. This project will explore ways the spoken and written word can activate the public and help scientists develop compelling ways to communicate the issues.
Sleepless is a theatre production inspired by the story of a family suffering from a rare genetic neurodegenerative disease – fatal familial insomnia – which leaves generations of family members fatally losing the ability to sleep.
In Sleepless, one woman’s search for answers about the condition plays out against the unfolding crisis of the better known prion condition variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (or mad cow disease), exploring the impact of commercial interests on finding cures for rare diseases.
Developed through collaboration with leading sleep scientists and neuroscientists working on prion theory, Sleepless highlights a little known area of scientific research. The show tells an epic story across timelines, generations and continents. An international co-production, the show will be accompanied by engagement events and online resources to give audiences deeper access to the science behind the work.
Opening Skinner’s Box
Opening Skinner’s Box will be a touring theatre production created by Improbable. Using the book of the same name by Lauren Slater as a starting point, the touring show will tell the stories of ten great psychological experiments of the 20th century. It will also tell the stories behind the experiments: the creators, their historical context, the impact the results had and the controversy Lauren Slater has prompted by revisiting them.
This adaptation will be devised and presented by an ensemble of seven who will play all the characters and tell all the stories. This theatrically flexible approach will enable us to distance ourselves from any single viewpoint and allow the multi-layered meanings and opinions on these experiments to be heard.
We will collaborate with two scientists from the Wellcome established Institute of Neuroscience at Newcastle University: evolutionary biologist Dr John Lazarus and psychologist and neuroscientist Dr Quoc Vuong. Working with them through rehearsals will deepen our understanding of the scientific material and ensure its presentation is accurate.
Jane and Louise Wilson
Film and Video Umbrella
Undead Sun, We Put the World before You
This project will be the second instalment in an ongoing series of works that have been produced for the First World War centenary.
Developed in collaboration with acclaimed anthropologist and forensic scientist Professor Caroline Wilkinson, and overseen by curatorial/commissioning agency Film and Video Umbrella, the project will include a dialogue with surgeon Professor Iain Hutchinson.
It will focus on the horrific, life-changing injuries that were a grisly hallmark of the war, and the lasting scars they left on soldiers’ faces and psyches. The film will consider how the treatment and mitigation of these wounds, while jarringly primitive to contemporary eyes, had a profound effect on the nascent discipline of reconstructive surgery, instituting a set of ameliorative procedures and anatomical insights that continue to influence present-day practice.
The piece will incorporate the poignant personal testimony of First World War soldiers coming to terms with their injuries with archive material from the pioneering reconstructive surgery unit at Queen’s Hospital, Sidcup. It will also broaden its scope to contemporary technological advances in the fields of facial reconstruction and facial recognition which are prompting a more complex and changing picture of identity.
Dr Laura Purcell Gates
Bath Spa University
The Depraved Appetite of Tarrare the Freak
The Depraved Appetite of Tarrare the Freak is a unique fusion of puppetry and contemporary chamber opera detailing the story of 18th-century French medical anomaly Tarrare. Wattle & Daub Figure Theatre will collaborate with pathologist Dr Alan Bates, playwright Hattie Naylor, pianist and composer Tom Poster, Bristol University’s medical humanities programme and an academic advisory panel.
Through a darkly compelling yet riotously enjoyable show we will explore the rise of the autopsy and its influence on the medical model of the doctor-patient relationship, using the case study of medical ‘monster’ Tarrare and his obsessive desire to eat, and the doctor who treated him.
Cancer the Musical R&D
Cancer is still a taboo. The fight against the disease is deeply rooted in the public imagination. Recovery is most often described as a successful ‘battle’ and we praise ‘survivors’, promising ‘cancer, we’re coming to get you!’ But what about those who don’t want to fight, who prefer to share their grief openly and see treatment as a negotiation?
International touring theatre company Complicite and award-winning performance artist Bryony Kimmings want to talk about cancer – warts and all. We will create the first large-scale theatre production that speaks about this ‘emperor of all maladies’ openly, honestly and in an uplifting and entertaining way.
Starved – six short plays about the global food crisis
The world is waking up to the fact that we are facing a global food crisis. Demand for food is outstripping our ability to supply it, leading to conflicts between rich and poor locally and globally. Compared with other global industries, food uses more land and water, creates greater climate change, damages the environment more, employs more people and arguably kills more through under- and over-consumption.
Starved will be a bold and imaginative response to the global food crisis presented as a six course ‘tasting menu’ of short plays from six of the world's most exciting dramatists including Lydia Adetunji, Bola Agbaje, Clare Bayley, Inua Ellams, Neil LaBute and Pedro Miguel Rozo (translated by Simon Scardifield), written in partnership with six of the world’s leading scientists in their fields including the UK Champion for Global Food Security Professor Tim Benton and Professors Kamal Bawa, Suzanne Filteau, Ilkka Hanski, Molly Jahn and Tim Lang.
Databases, health governance and arts enquiry
YoHa arts organisation will lead an artistic enquiry into the formation of governance through electronic record keeping in the domain of mental health care, exploring the contemporary role of databases in the delivery of services provided by the Clinical Academic Groups Addictions and the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust.
Using the non-institutional and catalytic methods that art can offer, the project will seek to understand how databases construct a form of governance for service users as well as those that deliver mental health services. YoHa will use the outcomes of this research and the relationships made to develop a series of new artworks and a corresponding public engagement programme.
Afterlife is a contemporary meditation on death, which employs the use of ‘decomposition narratives’ – text and sound-based descriptions of the body decomposing – to take the listener on a journey beyond death. This project will research, develop and produce the sound artworks.
Working with Dr Carolyn Rando, forensics expert at University College London, the team will explore decomposition of the body in several settings, including an urban waterway, a forest, a street pavement, a climate-controlled museum and a room in a house, developing several narratives that explore the impact of temperature, moisture, animals, microbes and other environmental factors.
Five works in progress will be broadcast and distributed online and exhibited at events for audiences to test and experience at home and in gallery and outdoor settings.
Castle is an innovative and ambitious new dance performance that I will choreograph in collaboration with director David Rosenberg.
This research project will encompass three investigative strands: the effect of trauma on memory and the condition of false memory (a collaboration with Professor Kimberley Wade); how memory can be manipulated in a performance context (a collaboration with Professor Kimberley Wade and cognitive psychologist Dr Denis McKeown); and the history of psychotherapy and its application to victims of trauma in the 20th and early 21st century (a collaboration with Dr Susanne Vosmer).
The three strands of investigation will lead to a touring dance show inviting the audience to view a massacre from three perspectives across three levels of a purpose-built structure. We will use public events to highlight the neurological effect of trauma and its treatment and create a programme of artist development for emerging choreographers.
Going Viral will be a solo performance exploring the frontiers of the science of the epidemiology of infectious diseases. He will draw on the scientific knowledge and ongoing research of Dr Mark Booth of Durham University to inform the show’s material and structure.
The show will model the spread of infectious disease in human society with a theatre audience, consider the role of data and computer modelling in epidemiological prediction and explore the ways in which the language of the epidemic has infiltrated our culture.
The theatrical form of a performance lecture will be combined with storytelling, a technique that was previously used in a successful touring show around the economics of value, The Price of Everything, to introduce new audiences to these ideas, contributing to a greater debate about epidemiology and its impact on society.
Royal College of Art
Rock on Bones
Rock on bones was the name of a clandestine method of producing Western jazz and rock and roll records whose distribution had been banned in the Soviet Union. Primarily produced in the 1950s and early 1960s, records were cut on home-made equipment using discarded medical X-ray transparencies in place of vinyl. Each radiograph was a unique medical image that had been removed from a hospital, overlaid with an eagerly awaited soundtrack of the West and in turn became an object of desire.
Through a collaboration with Dr Stephen Terry and Dr Oscar Lancaster of the Eggert Research Group, and Dr John Harris at the Nikon Imaging Centre, Kings College London, I will create a series of videos, slide projections, drawings and a sound score that reinterpret the rock on bones phenomenon using microscopy imaging technology.
The work looks at the parallels between intimacy and singularity of the body and popular music as an expression of individuality, freedom and a political force.
Where I go (when I can't be where I am)
I will work with writer Chris Thorpe to develop Where I go (when I can't be where I am), a show which explores living with chronic pain and how it affects our senses. I will build a layered, sensory world, exploring how those in chronic pain manage to survive a state that not only threatens to destroy aspects of self, but ironically can also bring joy in the unlikeliest of moments.
The show is based upon personal experience of a severe pain condition and invites the audience to inhabit this world for a brief time. It is created in collaboration with Dr Helen Cohen, Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, Professor Candy McCabe, University of the West of England and Dr Giandomenico Iannetti, University College London, all currently involved in cutting edge research into pain. It will also receive support from The National Theatre Studio, Barbican and the Young Vic.
The development process will promote collaboration between medical professionals, clinical scientists and artists stimulating interest and debate. It will educate and encourage the audience to think differently about a person with chronic pain and raise the profile of neuroscience and pain research.
Tears (working title)
I will create a new piece of contemporary dance which explores the biochemical make up of tears and how their appearance and composition is affected by different emotional states. Using microscopic photographs of tears which reveal the diverse range of imagery that is created when we cry from sadness, pain or joy, the dance created will build a narrative to illustrate the many different components of tears and will consider what affects tears to create these different images.
Working in partnership with Professor Sir John Holman from York University on the various protein structures that are the chemical make-up of tears, I will look at the differences between how tears function and how they are perceived, asking why we cry and what happens when we laugh until we cry. A new chorale composition by Leeds-based composer Philip Herbert will be created specifically for the work with an unaccompanied vocal ensemble.
It is as if
This project constitutes the research and production of an immersive video installation work entitled It is as if. The work will explore the shifting terrain of the language of surgery through a dialogue between artists Vong Phaophanit, Claire Oboussier and surgeon/educator Professor Kneebone. The intersection between Professor Kneebone’s pioneering research into surgical simulation and the unnamed languages of surgery and the artists’ interests in language, memory and de-territorialisation will be explored.
This collaborative work will be a poetic exploration of unnamed, chimerical and remembered landscapes both surgical and imaginary. A maze-like sculptural installation will lead the visitor through the 250m2 exhibition space to a video triptych that encourages the viewer to reimagine the terrain of surgery, their relationship to it and its ever evolving technologies. The central piece of the triptych will be a film of Professor Kneebone’s hands simulating, using a combination of memory and imagination, a surgical operation he has performed multiple times.
The viewer will navigate the maze, entering and leaving the viewing chamber for the videos. The maze can be thought of as a metaphor for the unnamed territories within the body. The aim is for visitors to experience a physical and conceptual journey, thus engaging the visitor with the complex terrain of surgery.
British Film Institute
We Cannot Unsee
Following the British Film Institute’s (BFI) major retrospective of science fiction film, We Cannot Unsee asks whether science fiction can get closer to the lived, subjective experience of psychological disorders than written, codified scientific definitions.
We Cannot Unsee is initiated and overseen by the BFI, in collaboration with no.w.here, University of the Arts, London and researchers based at King’s College London. The project takes its title from the description of someone suffering from palinopsia, a condition whereby after images appear to linger – a prime example of a condition that should be explored via film, not words.
We Cannot Unsee will result in a number of short, experimental films that explore the potential of science fiction imagery and narratives to communicate the ways people experience a range of symptoms associated with psychiatric and brain disorders. Emerging artists will be supported to create films in collaboration with Vaughan Bell, Lidia Yaguez-Hervas and Zerrin Atakan from the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College, Pat Walsh from the Centre of Medical Law and Ethics, and people who have experienced symptoms of palinposa.
Amazon beaming – R&D award
Complicite investigates the story of explorer and photographer Loren McIntyre. Searching for the source of the Amazon, McIntyre made first contact with the remote Mayoruna people and experienced a phenomenon he described as beaming – a form of mind-to-mind communication with the tribe.
I do not believe in the paranormal, but I am fascinated by what can happen when our
sense of consciousness is challenged. In development with leading neuroscientists and using innovative binaural sound technology, Complicite will explore McIntyre’s story and ask what is meant by ‘consciousness’, what are its limits and can it be altered?
The Arts Catalyst
For 10 years, Mexican artist, musician, illustrator and inventor Ariel Guzik has searched for a way to communicate with cetaceans. Guzik’s project has encompassed the creation of underwater resonance instruments, expeditions to communicate with grey whales and bottlenose dolphins off the coasts of Baja California, Scotland and Costa Rica, and many fantastical drawings of the cetacean world with underwater ships and gardens.
Narcisa is an exhibition by Ariel Guzik commissioned by The Arts Catalyst for the Edinburgh Arts Festival in UK-Mexico Year 2015, following his installation Cordiox at the Mexican Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2013. It will focus on the next stage of the artist’s ambitious poetic research: the design and creation of an underwater capsule enabling people to interact with cetaceans in the ocean. A prototype capsule will be immersed in a soundscape of extraordinary underwater field recordings of cetaceans.
Cast Iron Radio
Body of Songs (animations)
Body of Songs (BOS) animations builds on and extends a successful project supported by Wellcome and the Arts Council England in which ten musicians create new music, each taking a bodily organ or system as inspiration. In this next stage, we will work with four visual artists to create high quality, animated films to accompany four of the music tracks.
BOS aims to give musicians and artists an opportunity to experiment and develop their creative work in an innovative, collaborative context, without the restrictions of a commercial brief.
In this instance, the animation artists will undertake their own journey of understanding about the respective organ through investigation and consultations with organ specialists in science and medicine. Drawing on the ‘story of the music’ as conveyed by the musician, they will harness the non-literal potential of animation to create a parallel, complementary visual response to provoke and stimulate the audience’s imagination and understanding.
Great Ormond Street Hospital
Under the microscope
I am artist in residence at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) Biomedical Research Centre, mentored by Professor Goldblatt learning about the work of rare disease specialists including those involved in genome science, regenerative medicine, gene therapy and innovative surgical techniques. Acting as artist mediator, I will explore ways of creatively reinterpreting these ideas to enable children and their families to engage with the world of the biomedical researcher.
Under the Microscope will provide an artistic framework in which to explore rare disease from three different perspectives: lab-based researcher, clinical practitioner and the patient/parent. The project will encourage exchange between these groups and will help voice the distinct experiences of individuals and culminate in a sound and visual installation in a consulting room at GOSH,inspired by the emotive position of being a family living ‘under the microscope’.
Adam Chodzko, Deep Above
Why do we not change our behaviour in response to climate change? What creates denial? Artist Adam Chodzko will create an intriguing and challenging experimental film Deep Above to explore behavioural psychology and climate change.
He is being advised by Dr Adam Harris, lecturer in experimental psychology at University College London who is researching climate change and Professor Paul Wilkinson, epidemiologist at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, focusing on climate change and health, together with Sally Weintrobe, a psychoanalyst specialising in climate change denial.
How to be happy
We just want to be happy. Dave McGinn and I have spent a lifetime scoffing at the materialistically satisfied and the spiritually aware, but while wallowing in scorn has its perks, it hasn’t cheered us up. What if our joyless atheism and acceptance of human purposelessness are acting as a prophylactic to true and sustained contentment?
We are two pessimists who are ready to open our hearts and minds and experience all those things we’ve previously scoffed at. From sustained spiritual practices to extreme sports we’ll be undergoing some of the most profound and intense experiences known to humanity, approaching them with all the commitment and open-mindedness we can muster.
We will work with experts in the fields of neuroscience, psychology and psychiatry. We hope that by engaging with current research, we can strengthen the conceptual and methodological basis of our work and bring scientific rigour to our assessment of any changes we experience.
Dissonance makes paradoxical use of a puppet to explore current thinking about the social, emotional and cognitive processes that underlie mental health and empathy in a direct and comical style. How can something so obviously not alive become so alive?
Drawing on ideas such as cognitive dissonance, terror management theory and fight or flight, the performance features a punchbag puppet suffering an existential crisis, embarking on an odyssey through the doors of the human mind.
Both challenging and empowering, the work is ultimately a testament to the power of the imagination and the staggering potential of human beings.
Winter. Part of a quartet of performances exploring the human life cycle and our relationship with time and change
Winter. will be a Quarantine theatre performance made in collaboration with someone who knows they are dying. It explores the presence of death in a body and in society and how we respond to time when we are conscious of its limit, and the marks that we leave behind after we are gone. It will be made in such a way that it can continue to be performed after its central subject is no longer able to be present.
Winter. is part of a quartet of performances named after the seasons. It is an epic project about the human life cycle and our relationship with time and change. Being made in four separate parts between 2014 and 2016, each is a stand-alone piece of work with distinct qualities which will ultimately be performed together as a large-scale, long-duration event to form a complex tableau of life passing and emerging. It’s a rich meditation on life and death, living and dying; an exploration of hope and its inexorable relationship with the inevitable.
This project is created in partnership with John Troyer Deputy Director of the Centre for Death and Society, University of Bath, Michael Brady, Professor of Philosophy, University of Glasgow, the National Theatre of Wales and In Between Time Festival, Bristol.
Is a learning disability a medical condition or is it part of who you are?
Curing Perfect is a piece of art that will engage audiences in this question as it draws them into an online graphic novel and a world where people have been made ‘perfect’ by science. It will challenge them to think about what a world of perfection would be like, the sacrifices that would be made in striving for such a world and the role gene and stem cell therapy would have in achieving this.
Curing Perfect will be a creative response to the implications and ethics of these scientific developments led by experienced film makers with learning disabilities. They will challenge the audience to move through this ‘perfect’ world and interact with what they find. Using transmedia techniques the artists will exploit online technology, using drawing, animation and ‘live’ footage to create a visually engaging world. Social media, emails and text messages as well as more traditional promotion will invite audiences to engage, while parts of the story will break out into the real world through live debate and discussion.
The Temptation of Saint Anthony – psychiatry and religion
The Temptation of St. Anthony is a theatre performance created by The Mechanical Animal Corporation and presented at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2015. It aims to engage public audiences in issues surrounding the significance of religious experience upon biomedical practice.
In a number of UK religious communities, possession by a foreign spirit is believed to cause mental illness, requiring religious treatment, such as deliverance or exorcism. For psychiatrists, cases involving possessed patients present a culturally-sensitive interface between clinical medicine and religious healing practices. How should we treat mental illnesses embedded within religious contexts? Is there a border between psychiatry and the roles that religious healing practices fulfil?
These issues provide a catalyst for a contemporary re-exploration of the legend of Saint Anthony depicting a man’s epic struggles to maintain both faith and sanity while possessed in the desert. Offering an exciting thematic correlation for our research, the legend provides a compelling narrative framework through which to engage audiences.
Genetic Bull sculpture project
In pre-Christian Europe, humans performed what we now call pagan ritual in an attempt to influence the future behaviour of nature. Part of this practice involved making idols called corn dolls. These objects were made from binding strands of wheat or corn into a variety of intricate shapes and patterns.
In contemporary society, genomics has given scientists the true ability to control nature in the future development of animal and plant species, thanks to an understanding of the complex patterns held within the structure of DNA.
Through a shared creative process, I will collaborate with genomic scientists Dr Donagh Berry and Professor David MacHugh to devise a series of sculptures using the information held within the genetic signature of a number of Dovea Genetics’ pedigree bulls and their calves.
Ironman is a new piece of theatre about the physiology of endurance sport and the psychology of carrying on. It’s about the human stories behind great feats of endurance and about how our bodies work when we complete them. I will work with three biomedical researchers at Northumbria University to investigate the psychology of endurance sport, including flow and central performance modifiers, and the biomechanics of how our bodies work when we train and compete.
It will also involve me doing an ironman competition: A 5km swim, 112 miles of cycling and then running a marathon. It is about how the thing that shocks people the most is when you tell them that you’re not allowed headphones. It is just you, alone, body and mind and the next moment – for 12 hours.
This is not a show about how exceptional I am, rather it is about how we can do exceptional things. Also it is about my friend John, the friend who introduced me to endurance sport. After his death, all his friends did a feat of endurance sport in his memory. He runs with me, always. Ironman is also about why I swim, cycle and run.
Beggarsbelief Theatre Company Ltd
Development funding for Goodfellow: Anatomy of the Gun
Goodfellow: Anatomy of the Gun will combine the true story of a pioneering Old West trauma surgeon with an illumination of the roots of contemporary America’s gun culture.
With input from medical consultants Dr Dan Judkins and Laura Newman, a core creative team of actors, puppeteers, and musicians will delve into the world of medicine and surgery in 1880s America and investigate ways of dramatising the work of Dr George Goodfellow, surgeon to the gunslingers. By the end of the process, the team will have shaped a piece of popular docudrama drawing on a range of art forms to explore the response of trauma surgeons to the challenges arising from developments in gun technology.
Based on the ideas in Naomi Klein’s seminal book The Shock Doctrine, Electric Dreams is a compelling new state-of-the nation play from Dumbshow about the power of shock.
Electric Dreams interrogates how shocks have been exploited throughout history on both a personal and societal level. By presenting a fictional story based on the life of Gail Kastner, who was the subject of experimental mind-control treatments by Dr Ewen Cameron at McGill University in Canada in the 1950s, Electric Dreams explores what happens to human beings when they are placed into a state of shock. A group of newly-redundant British librarians grappling with the dismantling of the welfare state narrate Gail’s story using text, video projection and live music. Dumbshow will tell a personal story to highlight a public issue: are we currently in a state of shock, and if so, how can we become shock resistant?
Working with Professor Hilary Marland from Warwick University and psychiatrist Dr Rory Conn, Electric Dreams will explore the history and context surrounding Dr Cameron’s experiments. It will examine the ethical questions that underpinned his work and apply that thinking to the body politic.
Pinocchio: a case study
Pinnochio: a case study is an R&D project interpreting Carlo Collodi’s story from a neuro-scientific angle. We will explore the parallels between methods of brain investigation and manipulation employed by neuroscientists with the methods puppeteers use to manipulate both a puppet and the spectators’ imagination, giving the illusion of a living brain in a puppet.
I will lead the project as Theatre-Rites’ artistic director. The co-applicant is Dr Matthew Grubb, Wellcome Trust research career development fellow at the MRC Centre for Developmental Neurobiology, Kings College London. He will work in partnership with Dr Laura Andreae, his colleague at the MRC Centre, to support the R&D project. Dr Katya Rubia and Dr Anna Kolliakou will be additional advisors.
Marked (working title)
Marked will be an experimental film that features the personal narratives of women who have had breast cancer and declined breast reconstruction after a mastectomy. Instead, they have adorned and beautified their surgical scars with tattoos. This challenges the norm of breast reconstruction and the perceived notions of womanhood.
Marked will present individual responses to cancer, trauma, treatment, surgery and survival of breast cancer in the form of an experimental film. The narratives of the cancer survivors will be further contextualised and framed through parallel research that will include the use of case studies and the creation of raw materials through the recording of original interviews with sociologists, journalists, social historians and mastectomy tattoo artists.
Sparkle and Dark’s Travelling Players
I AM BEAST R&D and production
Sparkle and Dark, creators of the critically acclaimed play Killing Roger, are embarking on a collaboration with young people’s psychiatrist Nick Barnes and Noelle Adames of the Grief Encounter project. They will produce a brand new piece of daring theatre presented using stunning visuals, life-sized puppetry and live music. The collaboration will examine bereavement and the consequences it might have on our mental health.
The Happiness Project
The Roundhouse will work in collaboration with Glas(s) Performance and Dr Robb Rutledge to produce the Happiness Project. A company of 12 young artists and six scientists will create and perform a piece of contemporary theatre exploring our understanding of happiness and wellbeing to be directed by Emma Higham and Tashi Gore from Glas(s) Performance and to be shown at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the Roundhouse.
Meet George – a theatre production about the scientist and geneticist George Price (1922-1975)
Meet George is a new production by Undercurrent based on the life of George Price (1922-1975). Presented in co-production with Camden People’s Theatre in Autumn 2015, staged within yards of where Price lived, worked and died.
Price taught himself the basics of evolutionary genetics and formulated an equation widely acknowledged as the mathematical explanation for the evolution of altruism – something science had been trying to do since Darwin. The Price Equation was so extraordinary that University College London gave Price an honorary position within 90 minutes of him walking in off the street. The magnitude of his discovery shook Price’s atheism to the core. He believed it must be a gift from God. Three years later, Price was discovered dead in a squat having cut his own throat. Seven people attended his funeral – five homeless men and two of our greatest evolutionary biologists.
British Film Institute
'Queering Love, Queering Hormones'
Within the context of the British Film Institute’s blockbuster project focusing on love, this project enacts a queer sensibility to critically engage with the types of narratives and concepts that cinema uses in order to talk about romantic love and how these relate and contrast with the way science (chiefly endocrinology) accounts for love.
A collective of artist filmmakers and science researchers will explore their common ground and differing approaches, and create seven pieces of moving image work. This work will focus on the role of so-called love hormones (oestrogen, testosterone, dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin, oxytocin and vasopressin) in our emotional experiences as a way of exploding some of the tensions between art and science when it comes to love and between competing notions of queer romantic agency and biological determinism.
Edinburgh College of Art
Eidolon is an interdisciplinary and participatory live art project that explores the relationship between the body and technology. It brings together artists, performers, medics and technicians, at the Scottish Centre for Simulation & Clinical Human Factors (SCSCHF), Forth Valley Royal Hospital, Larbert, a state-of-the-art professional training facility that provides simulation-based medical education.
Eidolon will explore the emotive and psychological potential of SCSCHF’s mid and high fidelity manikins, embodied with physical responses. Eidolon will be an intimate, context specific, live art project, developed through collaboration between interdisciplinary partners using the simulation spaces of the SCSCHF.
University for the Creative Arts
The Life of Bones
The project is about explosions and the amputations that can result from them. The Centre for Blast Injury Studies (CBIS), Imperial College London, studies the effects of explosions on human bodies. I will team up with Professor Anthony Bull and his department to create a series of videos that explore the cultural effects of these extreme circumstances.
The Life of Bones comprises three video works that artistically reconfigure the research done at CBIS. The poetic tone of the works will be woven from diverse threads: voiceover, writing, artistic and scientific animation, poetic metaphors and unexpected imaginative links.
Are we all addicts now?
Are we all addicts now? is an artist-led enquiry into how the conditions of the digital are simultaneously shaped by us and also shape us. I will lead the project in partnership with curator Fiona MacDonald and in collaboration with Dr Henrietta Bowden-Jones, Vanessa Bartlett and Dr Mark Wright.
Are we all addicts now? is intended as a provocation, seeking to initiate interdisciplinary conversations about the cultural and biomedical implications of our digital environments. During the R&D phase, a series of workshops will gather artists, biomedical scientists, academics, technology entrepreneurs and interested members of the public. These workshops will act as a testing site for the interrogation of the relationships humans have with the digital environment and the cultural and biomedical implications. The workshops will provide a discursive context for the production of new work, which will be exhibited at Standpoint in September-November 2017 and accompanied by a publication and symposium.
Inside Out will be a collaboration between myself and radiologist Professor Steve Halligan, working closely with a range of radiology staff and patients at University College of London Hospital to produce a new body of visual work about the ethical, cultural and technological aspects of medical imaging.
Drawing on my ongoing work exploring the relationship between medicine, arts and ethics, and building on collaborations with leading arts organisations and NHS trusts, Inside Out will build long-term creative engagement with a range of audiences with a series of public events and exhibitions.
This project will engage with the broad public interest in medical images as cultural documents that penetrate deep beneath the skin to reveal what is inside.
The Rhythm Method
The Rhythm Method is a new piece of musical theatre by The Stable exploring themes of fertility and infertility, with particular focus on contraceptive methods, the history of their development, current practice and areas of research, and the way people approach choices about fertility and the impact these choices may have on their lives and relationships.
In an extensive R&D phase, writer Diane Samuels and composer/lyricist Gwyneth Herbert will work closely with scientific advisors Professor John Guillebaud, Dr Sam Hutt, Judi Barker and Jenny Riddell, to shape the piece’s story and characters through the investigation of medical practice, research and history, as well as psychotherapy. Their collaboration will include intensive workshops, visits to medical institutions and in-depth discussions.
The R&D phase will allow the testing of the material at different stages of its development with a range of audiences, practitioners, community groups, pupils and students, and will incorporate their responses and ideas.
Can’t Sleep is an experimental filmic work imagined to be for an audience of insomniacs and is inspired by watching late night television consisting mainly of back-to-back episodes of game shows or sitcoms. Not only have these programmes become part of nightly rituals but a necessity. Referring to the pre-existing lineage of sleeping tapes, Can’t Sleep seeks to explore the aesthetic and sonic dimensions of inducing sleep. By drawing upon current research in neuroscience and sleep psychology this experimental work seeks to open up a discussion around the psychology of sleep, neurobiology and its relationship to popular culture.
The film will comprise of a scientific based framework or construct researched in collaboration with Dr Timothy Bliss as a scaffold with which to produce a film containing: usual (and somewhat unusual) dialogue, rhythm, sound and imagery as a fictional narrative.
Uncommon Sense is a visual art project which draws on recent theoretical developments in neuroscience and autistic subjectivity to imagine new notions of embodiment that arise in a more inclusive and more technologised world.
The film will draw upon two different but overlapping areas of scientific research, working in consultation with developmental cognitive scientist Dr Liz Pellicano, Centre for Research in Autism and Education (CRAE), Institute of Education and neuroscientist Professor Manos Tsakiris from the Laboratory of Action and Body, Royal Holloway University of London.
The project is conceived as a 20-minute film installation to be exhibited at Whitstable Biennale in 2016, a public panel discussion and presentation of work in progress, and a self-published book.
Posy Kai Dixon
From Moroccan Gnawa musicians to Pentecostal church ceremony to contemporary electronic artists, the relationship between music and altered states of consciousness transcends ethnicity, religion and culture. The ways in which music affects us on a physiological level is varied and complex. The feelings are so familiar and the emotions so ingrained in our collective psyches that we very rarely discuss them in a wider context.
Altered States is a visually arresting new film project, encompassing elements of video essay, experimental documentary, digital art, bespoke live performance and new scientific study aimed at exploring the role that music plays in us as a species. It covers its function in the evolution of the human species, its manifestations in modern society as a powerful cultural identifier as well as its highly effective therapeutic qualities for both individuals and the masses.
This application is to fund the development, creation and performance of a new piece of interactive theatre including 40 performances in London and Manchester. We’re Stuck! is an innovative adventure for children aged 8-11, their teachers and parents, inspired by the extraordinary abilities and limitations of our brains when it comes to maths.
The show’s structure and content will be rooted in the latest educational neuroscience research, drawing on the expertise of neuroscientists Professor Michael Thomas (Birkbeck University of London), Dr Roi Cohen Kadosh (University of Oxford) and Professor Matt Nolan (University of Edinburgh), together with psychologists Professor Andy Tolmie and Dr Emily Farran (UCL Institute of Education). The performance will explore the ways in which our brains are – and are not – like computers, with particular reference to ongoing research into spatial navigation. We’ll be inspired by cybernetic research, imagining extraordinary possibilities such as humanoid, neurally-controlled robots.
Created in collaboration with award-winning games designer Sophie Sampson, the show will combine live action games with a gripping storyline to challenge and inspire families. In the company of our team of skilled performers, children will make mistakes, get stuck, struggle with ludicrously difficult tasks and risk total failure.
Cathedral will be a performance that questions our memories and the role that emotions play on how we recall past events. It will do this by challenging the audience’s sensory and perceptual experience of the actual theatrical event.
The show takes place in a state of very low lighting with moments of total darkness from which uncanny images emerge. The aim is to create a destabilising experience that forces the audience to question what actually happens during the event and how reliable memory is for its understanding. The imagery is influenced by fragments of the story of two past lovers told through a couple of old tape recorders. Sound design is used to delineate the space and to physically affect the listener. Bodies emerge from darkness creating impossible gestures that the spectator is called to interpret according to their own imagination.
Cathedral is inspired by Raymond Carver’s short story of the same name and sets out to create visceral and sensorial experience. The piece is a cocktail of fragmented storytelling, physical theatre and sound design that exposes the spectator to the subjectivity of memory and its role in the construction of a fragile self.
Cathedral is a new performance by Fye and Foul Theatre Company (Giulio Blason and Yaron Shyldkrot) and a collaboration with Dr Alison Eardley (Westminster University), Dr Elliot Freeman and Dr Lydia Tan (City University London).
Revisiting Genesis is a new moving-image work engaging with death, dying, palliative care and post-death digital legacies. The work will be distributed as a web series, in addition to public presentations in galleries and museums.
In collaboration with production film company Partizan, Revisiting Genesis will respond to a diverse range of influences including feminist art, outsider politics, the loss of meaningful social structures under neoliberalism, the need for collective forms of self-organisation when caring for others and the development of digital legacies for women artists through social media. It investigates the complex philosophical, political, practical and emotional implications of the processes surrounding death.
Revisiting Genesis will be developed in collaboration with Dr Christopher Baxter, Medical Director and Consultant in Palliative Medicine, North London Hospice; Dr Natasha Arnold, Consultant Geriatrician, Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust; and in consultation with academic and medical staff at Kingston University School of Nursing, including Christina Chu, Rosemary Castle and Angela Richardson; Dr Korina Giaxoglou, International Death Online Research Network; and Goldsmiths Women’s Art Library.
The Lounge is an ambitious new theatre piece from Inspector Sands that explores the relationship between very old age, empathy and agency, made in collaboration with medical experts from Newcastle, UCL and Cambridge universities and Barts Health, headed by Julian Hughes, Professor of Philosophy of Ageing and Consultant in Old Age Psychiatry.
Extreme old age is the fastest growing age group and nearly one in five people in the UK will live beyond 100. A 2013 parliamentary report suggests we remain ‘woefully underprepared’ for the consequences. Were we better able to imagine our future selves, might our capacity to empathise with those in old age improve? Could this act of imagination enable more proactive engagement with the need for change around this major public health issue?
This piece – set in a care home lounge – is performed by Inspector Sands theatre company by actors in their late 30s who attempt to envisage their own physical and emotional futures. We invite audiences to engage with their own relationship to ageing and time, challenging the notion of ageing as a divisive force and instead exploring the way we cope – or fail to cope – with the ageing process we are all engaged in.
Jacqueline Donachie Commission
The Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) will realise a long-term ambition to commission new work from Jacqueline Donachie including sculptural pieces, works on paper and a moving-image work linked to her current research into innovative and effective ways of engaging vulnerable people in the biomedical research that affects them.
Pose Piece for Sisters (after McLean) is a film installation that will sit centrally within the exhibition. It will be made with the support of organisations within the Centre for Life in Newcastle, specifically the myotonic dystrophy patient registry, a database of patients in the UK who have myotonic dystrophy, and directed by Libby Woods. Woods has worked closely with Donachie to facilitate the recruitment of sibling participants for her wider research, alongside Professor Volker Straub of Newcastle University/Treat-NMD Neuromuscular Network. There is the potential to move this collaborative research into an exhibition and symposium in the public realm.
£30,000 for 10 months
'Transports' is a series of three immersive audio experiences inside custom-made aluminium cases which tour as an interactive DIY audio installation. Each case contains the remarkable story of an artist whose particular neurological condition has brought them into contact with science and profoundly altered their perception of the world and their relationship with their art and creativity. 'Transports' enables its audience to see the world through the unique lens of the subject's condition, telling us about the way these different brains construct their unique experience of the world.
£30,000 for 12 months
Taking place at Arnolfini, Bristol, 5Hz is an event series, interactive installation, performance work and exhibition from artist Emma Smith. Through a series of live 'laboratories', members of the public will assist the artist to invent a new language (5Hz) as a tool for social bonding, based on neurological responses to the rhythmic properties of voice. Over the course of a year, the project will explore possibilities for wellbeing and human connection through voice in a uniquely interactive and porous environment developed in close collaboration with a neuroscientist, psycholinguist and musicologist. The final artwork will be exhibited in November 2014.
‘Fictions from the Five Stages of Sleep’
£16,700 for 18 months
This project will introduce readers to key concepts in the science of sleep, through the commission of ten short stories by authors working in one-to-one collaborations with sleep researchers. The stories (accompanied by afterwords written by each consulting researcher) will be published, first, in an anthology and then fed through into a specially developed smartphone app that will enable users to explore a 3-D model of the brain while listening to the stories and afterwords. This app will also feature short animations of different sleeping-brain activities, embedded into the 3-D model, as well as glossaries and other anatomical information.
Sarah Jane Dickenson
‘The not-knowns: psychology, engagement and cultural memory’
£29,480 for 12 months
Psychologist Giuliana Mazzoni and playwright Sarah Jane Dickenson are working together to develop a new play with and for a group sometimes called the 'not-knowns'. Members of this group are victims of cultural amnesia, disappearing from social existence, lacking jobs, education and even lacking a named presence in their home cities. The project explores the possibilities of recent psychological research which shows that autobiographical memory is an actively edited process that the individual adapts to their own needs. We will be investigating how to use the tools of playwriting and psychology to develop solutions to social problems.
The project’s result will include a 45 minute play script published by the Barbican Press, and a professional theatre tour of Dickenson's play to 10 schools and non-theatrical venues across the City of Hull, accompanied by experiential workshops on the subject matter.
‘A Journey Round My Skull’
£30,000 for 8 months
A Journey Round My Skull is a one woman theatre show that takes its name and inspiration from the extraordinary and perversely funny memoir written by Hungarian satirist Frigyes Karinthy. The book documents the symptoms and ultimate removal of the benign brain tumour that he suffered during the 1930s. Written in collaboration with Perrier-nominated writer Nick Walker and set to a binaural sound design developed with Professor David McAlpine, UCL, this performance casts the audience as collective patients to chart a moving, disturbing and sometimes humorous course of illness, exploring the lengths we might go to cure ourselves.
£30,000 for 12 months
In 2012 Dr Bart Hoogenboom at the London Centre for Nanotechnology created the first 'real' visualisation of the DNA double helix in its natural aqueous environment. Using atomic force microscopy that detects molecules by feeling them, he described the imaging of DNA as "analogous to a blind man using a cane to visualise a wriggling snake." Working in collaboration with Dr Bart Hoogenboom, The Demiurge is a Sci-Fi film by AL and AL about the nano scale quest for DNA knowledge of the human body and the recurring haunting symbolism and myths of the serpent image in modern medicine.
Matthew de Pulford
‘Jessica Rinland: Dissecting the Exploding Whale’
£2,110 for 2 months
A new multi-media artwork by artist Jessica Sarah Rinland. It centres on a script - written by the artist for an unmade film - concerning a retiring cetologist's lifetime struggle to understand the phenomenon of whale strandings. Pages of the script, projected consecutively once a minute, provide a time structure for the arrangement of an archive of visual and aural material relating to the study of whales. Working with whale experts to develop the script, Rinland explores whale pathology, ecology and human imagination. The exhibition will culminate with a public talk between the artist and a leading whale pathology technician.
‘The Language of The Eye’
£29,280 for 14 months
The Language of The Eye is an exhibition combining photography and optical scanning materials to explore the mechanics of perception and the eye's place in popular culture. Artists David Oates and Mishka Henner are working in partnership with University of Manchester's Optometry Clinics to research and develop a range of new art commissions hosted at Waterside Arts Centre in a major exhibition running from May to September 2014. The project will also feature a series of eye health events for adults and children and talks by the artists and leading optical scientist.
‘The Adventures of Richard Spruce’
£21,000 for 12 months
The Adventures of Richard Spruce will be an electronic graphic novel which leads audiences on a visual, experiential journey of the remarkable story of a little known botanical explorer. Spruce made a key contribution in cultivating quinine, the first antidote in the prevention and cure of malaria. Found in the Amazon this botanically complex plant was of high value during the mid-19th Century as malaria was hampering desperate attempts to conquer central Africa. In 1849 Spruce was commissioned by the Indian office to collect 100,000 seeds and six hundred cinchona plants and send them around the colonies.
Audiences will explore this extraordinary piece of medical history through Spruce's eyes in a highly visual and experiential journey of this determined character whose obsessional eye for detail, passion for botany made him one of the largest contributors towards 19th Century Pharmacy.
£29,705 for 12 months
"Shh...Bang" is an interactive dance theatre show for 2-5 years olds. Exploring the notions of silence and noise, "Shh...Bang" is a multi-sensory experience for parents to enjoy with their children. Inspired by Kafka's poem "Learn to be Quiet" and developed with The Great Ormond Street Audiological team, performers use music, sounds, theatre and dance to lead the audience through a magical journey discovering how we all hear and feel sounds differently. The work will also include a workshop programme for early years as part of the research and touring.
‘Research and development of Labyrinth Theatre’s new theatre production about the scientist and geneticist George Price, in partnership with Camden People’s Theatre’
£15,405 for 3 months
What rules us? Our genes or our 'free will'? Labyrinth Theatre will research and develop a captivating new theatre production exploring the motives behind kindness, in partnership with Camden People's Theatre, culminating in work-in-progress performances.
Price, a socially awkward outsider, taught himself the basics of evolutionary biology and formulated an equation widely acknowledged as the mathematical explanation for the evolution of altruism - something science had been trying to do since Darwin. Three years later in January '75, Price was discovered in a Euston squat having slit his throat. Through collaboratively pooling artistic, medical and scientific expertise, the project team will decide the most coherent and engaging ways to present Price's extraordinary story.
£29,740 for 15 months
The Lens project will bring together in collaboration scientists from the Cancer Research Institute UK Cambridge, Institute of Astronomy Cambridge with the glass artist Livvy Fink and poet Ezra Rubenstein. The collaboration between the scientists and artist will focus on exploring new ways of visualising and interpreting digitally acquired data from modern telescopes and microscopes. The context of the proposal is framed by the realization made by the scientists that an observational methodology based on digitally acquired data developed to spot distant galaxies could be applied to the identification of biomarkers signalling a cancers aggressiveness in breast tumours.
£27,024 for 13 months
Pulse explores the science and ethics of heart transplants dealing with the theme of acceptance and rejection and the ethics of taking a heart from one place to put in another. What can we learn from science for the heart of our community? Pulse brings together young people from Muirhouse Youth Development Group and artists from North Edinburgh Arts. Through creative collaboration, science will be interpreted geographically, with site specific performances using the urban landscape to debate science through soundscapes, art projections, spoken word and parkour (dance). We will be supported by cardiology specialists from Edinburgh’s two main teaching hospitals.
Katharine Anne Craik
Oxford Brookes University
‘Watching: An Opera for Children on the Function of Sleep’
£28,116 for 24 months
'Watching' is a new opera for children which aims to excite interest in the function of sleep among families living in the city of Edinburgh. Recent studies have established the correlation between healthy sleep patterns and educational outcomes, but suboptimal sleep remains widespread among UK schoolchildren. A collaboration between academics, scientists, theatre practitioners and schools, 'Watching' promotes understanding of the links between sleep and memory whilst allowing children to experience theatre activities of international quality. The project culminates in April 2015 with four full-scale promenade performances by twilight in the landmark Glasshouses of Edinburgh's Royal Botanic Garden.
Ruth Caroline Charity
John Radcliffe Hospital
‘The Breath Project’
£29,950 for 35 months
Orlando Gough's composition Breath will reflect aspects of respiratory function and be performed by professional singers, woodwind players, and patients with respiratory conditions. The piece will be developed with Prof Stradling, consultant chest physician, and patients and academics from Medicine and the Humanities whose research engages with breath. The composition will be publicly performed and accompanied by Breath Talks by academics and a Breath Festival in Oxford's museums. It will also be available in listening pods in Oxford hospitals. The project aims to raise the profile of respiratory medicine and encourage interdisciplinary dialogue and debate around the theme of breath.
‘Research and Development of Head Hand Head (Part II)’
£16,830 for 3 months.
Where does the OCD end and where do I begin? Research and Development of Head Hand Head (Part II), a new performance, using the self as subject, based on personal experience of living with obsessive compulsive disorder and receiving cognitive behavioural therapy as treatment. Working with a team of neuroscientists at Cambridge University, artistic collaborators and a cognitive behavioural therapist, the project will couple emotional responses with scientific research to create a participatory, theatrical space within which the audience will be inspired to reflect upon their individual, cultural and political attitudes towards the realities of mental illness, and its treatment.
£29,460 for 18 months
Brainstorm is a provocative new play about teenage brain development created through a unique dialogue between young people, neuroscientists from the Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Lab at University College London and professional theatre makers. It is a play about some of the most extraordinary changes that ever happen to us, made by the people going through those changes right now. It will be performed in a major London theatre and distributed as a film to young people, parents and teachers across the world online and as a model for other young people to create their own version.
Jamie Lewis Hadley
‘Blood on the Streets’
£29,996 for 24 months
Blood on the Streets investigates the role of the barber-surgeon in the history of medicinal bloodletting, and how it is perceived today. Live artist Jamie Lewis Hadley will create a performance to tour to 10 barbershops around the UK, including a text written in collaboration Professor Vishy Mahadevan, and the act of bloodletting re-enacted by Dr Belinda Fenty extracting one packet of blood from the artist's body (with modern procedures). An exhibition will conclude the project, showing documentation from each performance, and engaging with audiences to question our medical heritage and its impact on our relationship to blood today.
£30,000 for 6 months
The Quiet will be an immersive installation that attempts to recreate the Calm Before a Storm. In its centre will be a machine that produces atmospheric conditions to construct a pre-storm environment in a closed space, developed with researchers in meteorology and pain studies. The work seeks to explore the connection between the atmosphere and the body, the complex ways the environment affects our biology and the aesthetic poetics of the invisible. The work will result in a full scale electronic / mechanical machine, photographic and video documentation, a research blog and a commissioned contextual essay.
Portraits of Recovery
‘ADDICT – The Storm That Strands Us’
£30,000 for 18 months
ADDICT - The Storm That Strands Us, by Melanie Manchot, is an innovative video-work providing original insight into the complexity of addiction and recovery processes. Collaborating with psychotherapist Tim Leighton and twelve named participants at different stages of recovery, the artist is creating a new co-authored polyphonic installation that will form the basis of a national touring exhibition to at least three venues. Addressing core issues of recovery such as narrative constructions of identity, collective processes and the social self, the work will offer audiences a powerful display of participants' voices, presented through their stories as well as through portraits and performative gestures.
‘The Eradication of Schizophrenia in Western Lapland’
£29,830 for 12 months
After creative research and development in 2013 funded by the Wellcome Trust, Ridiculusmus have created a new play The Eradication of Schizophrenia in Western Lapland, addressing innovative approaches to the treatment of schizophrenia, and the effects of drugs on dialogue in a therapeutic setting. The company are planning a final week of rehearsals, followed by a 3-week UK tour accompanied by workshops and structured talks. Alongside the tour, Artistic Directors David Woods and Jon Haynes will undertake creative research in the treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder caused by war as the basis for their next show.
‘Heard Voices: Musical Hauntings’
£24,667 for 10 months
Heard Voices: Musical Hauntings is a musical work which engages with the science of auditory hallucinations. Constructed as a sequence of musical 'hauntings', the hour-long work uses songs, and memories of songs, as a means of exploring the psychology of musical and auditory memory. The musical work itself will draw on materials gathered in preparatory surveys of musical and auditory verbal hallucinations, and will continue to engage with audiences after the event via a mobile app and online resources, thus feeding into on-going research into the subject.
University of Oxford
£29,900 for 16 months
Implicit Processes will dramatise the empathic perceptual and social experiences of people with mirror-touch synaesthesia, a recently discovered, rare neurological condition in which visually observed touch to others bodies is perceived as a touch to the synaesthetes own body. The content and form of Implicit Processes will be based on my ethnographic project comprising twelve interviews with mirror-touch synaesthetes about their perceptual and social experiences - the first qualitative document of the condition. Implicit Processes will bring to artistic life the lived experiences of mirrortouch synaesthetes and draw out ethical questions about empathy within the larger culture.
‘Am I Dead Yet?’
£25,000 for 7 months
Unlimited will create Am I Dead Yet? to explore cutting-edge developments in the science of resuscitation, and the ethical, social and philosophical questions that these advances raise. Through a process of research and collaboration with our key research collaborator, resuscitation specialist Dr Sam Parnia (University of Southampton, Stony Brook University), we'll investigate the idea that death is no longer a moment, but a process that can be reversed. The show will be developed and researched during 2014, prior to premiering at the 2014 Edinburgh Festival, with an accompanying digital playscript being published.
D R Hood
Likely Story Ltd
Nina has just had a new baby but John is away working on an oil rig and her older son, Kim, is reacting badly to his little sister. Nina thinks that Kim may be autistic but is it Kim, or is it Nina, who is troubled?
The Storyteller is a feature film using live action and animation to tell, in fabular form, a story about severe post natal depression and psychosis. Building on my first feature film Wreckers and recent animation collaboration "Through the Hawthorn", I will suggest different layers of perception within the story. This is a first stage project to write the screenplay to a strong first draft. Continuing our fruitful collaboration with South London and Maudsley mental health team, consultant perinatal psychiatrist Dr Lucinda Green will be helping me with my research and I will also consult an expert on autism.
'The Spalding Suite'
The Spalding Suite is a touring show about the UK's basketball subculture directed by Benji Reid, written by Inua Ellams, produced by Fuel and commissioned by the Southbank Centre. Mixing poetry, storytelling, live music with choreography influenced by the game, the show aims to examine how the culture meets British identity.
The Wellcome Trust has supported a collaboration with science communicator Greg Foot to research how the choreography and text can illuminate the anatomy of extreme movement and physical pressure in sport. It has also supported a comprehensive public engagement programme alongside the touring show for young people.
The Wellcome Trust funded the final development stages of Laura Dannequin’s Hardy Animal: a tender solo that looks at chronic pain and human resilience; a goodbye letter to a former self and an ode to dance. Deeply moving, painfully honest and darkly funny, it layers the scientific with the poetic to expose the processes at work behind chronic pain.
Written, created and performed by Laura Dannequin, Hardy Animal is designed for small-scale national and international touring. An accompanying book was also published and distributed, and available from Laura’s website, lauradannequin.co.uk
The project is a collaboration between artist Elpida Hadzi-Vasileva, scientist Dr Richard Day and clinician Professor Alastair Forbes, with their associates at University College London (UCL) and the University of East Anglia (UEA). The artist will develop new art works, extending her practice with physically and conceptually challenging materials. She will respond to Day and Forbes translational, interdisciplinary research applying regenerative medicine to bowel function. The scientists have been intrigued by her work, particularly elements that shock and can be responsible for reflex/knee-jerk rejection. Encouraging patients to dwell on some of her themes has generated interesting discussions that have surprised them and their doctors, and has led to new approaches to aspects of their medical management, as well as being fascinating in their own right. An interim exhibition in UCL's public spaces communicating the cross-disciplinary activities of the project is planned, along with preparation for a substantial tour in 2016/17.
'Incubation' is an exhibition by Tabitha Moses, based on her experience of infertility, assisted conception and successful donor egg IVF, to take place at The Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool. It will be accompanied by a publication, programme of talks, discussion group comprising artist-parents, a gallery-based family activity and a series of creative workshops with users of The Hewitt Fertility Centre (Liverpool Women's Hospital). Workshops will be devised and delivered in collaboration with writer Rebecca Sharp. A new artwork will be produced for The Hewitt Centre waiting room.
'A Brief History of Knowledge (working title)'
The artist will create an artwork in the form of a multi-linear graphic novel about the history and relationship between visual arts, scientific thought and philosophy, between genetic mutation and the evolution of fine art. The artwork will take the form of a graphic novel that exemplifies different forms of knowledge. The project will build on and hugely expand on the previous Wellcome Trust funded project, Helix, and examine the parallels between the mutation and development of cells in evolution, and the evolution of ideas, using the story of the discovery of DNA as a central motif. It will be a highly accessible work that promotes interdisciplinary understanding, while making contemporary philosophical ideas around science clear. A Brief History of Knowledge will launch at Cheltenham Science Festival 2015, accompanied by a programme of talks and broadcasts, and will tour.
'Alien Sex Club'
Alien Sex Club will be comprised of a new art installation that includes drawing, tarot cards, fortune telling performances and paintings that address the subject of HIV in the gay community. The collaboration between artist John Walter and Dr. Alison Rodger will transform data from an NIHR funded UCL programme grant into visual form. Antiretroviral therapy (ART) has transformed HIV into a manageable chronic infection with near normal life expectancies and lowered infectiousness such that the use of ART in everyone diagnosed with HIV is being considered as a national prevention policy even though the evidence for this is in heterosexual studies and not gay men. The UCL programme is assessing HIV transmission in the context of ART for gay men and describing contemporary attitudes, experiences and lifestyles of gay men both living with HIV and at risk of HIV infection. The exhibition will take the form of a 'cruise maze' and host a series of collaborative events between biomedical scientists and artists that address issues surrounding the subject. The exhibition will also feature rapid HIV testing for visitors, extending on strategies identified under the moniker Relational Aesthetics, to animate the gallery and precipitate audiences to think afresh about their cultural and social responses to HIV.
Glen Andrew Neath
Fiction is a new project created by Glen Neath with director David Rosenberg and producers Fuel. The audience, wearing headphones in complete darkness, will understand themselves to have fallen asleep and the world they are traversing is that of a dream. We are applying for funding to support a period of research into the scientific study of dreams, and a programme of public engagement to support the show on tour. There are three aspects to the research:
1.The connection of dreams to the conscious mind
2.The connection of dreams to the unconscious mind
3. Enquiry into how humans perceive sound during dreaming
We will investigate whether aural or visual perception leads the narrative of a dream, and how we distinguish between sound within and outside the dream world. We will work with Cambridge Neuroscience on this research, a virtual body that brings together researchers from different fields of neurology. The show will be performed as part of the Cambridge Festival of Ideas and as part of Fuel's New Theatre in Your Neighbourhood project.
'Unseen : The Lives of Looking (Phase 2 & 3) Funding for Production and Post Production Phases'
'Unseen: The Lives of Looking', the first long form film by contemporary artist Dryden Goodwin, delves into distinct worlds of intense scrutiny, exploring different scales of looking, different forms of looking, different reasons for looking, in a poetic and metaphysically charged journey. Charting a series of close encounters with three individuals with a distinct relationship to looking: a planetary explorer, a surgeon and a human rights lawyer, the artist's own gaze and implicit presence forges the bond that links the lives of these probing observers through Goodwin's singular and intense drawing and filmmaking activity.
Historic and contemporary conflict driven medical innovation, a culture of memorialisation and the re-establishing of the symbolic and real world origins of an icon of war and remembrance are the context for 'Poppy'. This collaborative project between contemporary artist Paddy Hartley, Biomaterials scientist Dr Ian Thompson King's College London, with Curator of the Gordon Museum of Pathology Mr William Edwards, will see the fabrication of a series of highly emotive and thought provoking pathological Poppy specimens using biological and artificially fabricated materials. The materials and tissues from which each Poppy is produced, preserved or in some cases managed disintegration, are intended to initiate debate, discourse and public awareness of a series of interwoven themes and concerns. The way in which medical technology can make significant advances during times of conflict, how society can be guilty of over memorialisation of the dead.
Whilst at the same time, losing focus on the symbolism of the Poppy as a reminder of the physical loss of human life, body, tissue, memory. These Time-based 'Poppy' sculptures and companion time lapse video artworks will be produced to coincide with the first year of the centenary commemorations of World War 1, and draw focus upon medical advances both historic and contemporary as a result of conflict to the present day. These are intended to be a highly emotive and provocative artworks, intended to stimulate debate regarding the provocative notion of 'beneficial consequences' of war, remembrance, and the passing of and sometimes wilful expungement of memory.
Sophie Mary Motley
BEES by WillFredd Theatre is a musical for ages 6+. It explores the life cycles and ecosystems of bumblebees, honeybees and solitary bee species and the effects that losing these essential pollinators will have on both the environment and supermarket shelves. Collaborating with botanists Dr Jane Stout and Erin Jo Tiedeken at Trinity College, and performed at the Ark Children’s Theatre, Dublin in Autumn 2014, BEES is an informative and fun factual foray into the lives of pollinators which will both delight young audiences and intrigue botanists.
This proposal is for the creation of a spoken and sung performance exploring challenges in contemporary dairy practice, the genetics of milk production and the ongoing story of the relationship between cows and humans. The work will be performed alongside a mobile sound installation housed in a redesigned ice cream van.
COWGIRL PARLOUR will be created and performed by Christine Watkins and Sianed Jones, with both artists collaborating with dairy researcher Kate Johnson from The Royal Veterinary College. The newly created work will be piloted at Ledbury Poetry Festival in July 2015.
Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design
'Stutterer' by Thomson & Craighead
'Scales of Life' is the ambitious inaugural exhibition at the LifeSpace Art Science Research Gallery, at the University of Dundee. The exhibition will communicate the key scales of life from the smallest (molecules), to the largest (tissue). A new commission, 'Stutterer', by award-winning artists Thomson & Craighead will harness the human genome sequence in a significant new installation that questions preconceptions of neutrality in the visualization of scientific data. 'Stutterer' will reflect innovative artistic techniques employed to visualize and communicate biological data to engage the general public and scientists across different disciplines.
Phytology is an action-research project which brings together artists and ethnobotanists to explore the ecology and medicinal properties of wild plants and weeds common to derelict and undeveloped urban sites. The project has been developed by arts group, Nomad who will work with Dr Peter Giovannini of the University of Kent and commissioned artists to research and create an urban garden of medicinal plants with accompanying artworks and contextual information. The team will work with local partners Cape Farewell, Toynbee Hall, London Borough of Tower Hamlets and the Whitechapel Gallery in a programme of activity to engage the local community.
Cinderella (RockaFela) is a feature film about the science of improvisation and the impulse to dance. ‘Cinders’ has lost her will to dance and embarks on a journey with neuroscientists to find it again. From her earliest instincts to the body’s relinquishing of flexibility and the triggers that made her love, and lose dance, they want to understand her dance life and what made dancing ‘tick’. The film will explore expression, rhythm and collaboration in the context of dance and neuroscience. The filmmaker Alex Reuben will work with experimental psychologist Nicky Clayton and neuroscientist, Chris Frith to develop and produce the film which will be submitted to film festivals and released through Picturehouse cinemas.
Stan’s Café Theatre Company
“The Anatomy of Melancholy”
The year is 1621. Robert Burton has just published his vast survey of Melancholy, its symptoms, causes and cures and he is taking his show on the road. Stan’s Café will audaciously imagine what Burton’s own theatrical adaption of the book would be like. The setting is Ancient Greece and philosopher Democritus Junior is engaging unruly acolytes in debate on the latest thinking around melancholy, including the humours, love sickness, the perils of being rich, the pros and cons of plastic surgery, hellebore, how anti-depressants work, if cognitive behavioural therapy has a future and the merits of leeches. Stan’s Cafe will be working with Dr Erin Sullivan, the Royal Shakespeare Company and other specialists in medical history, neuroscience, psychotherapy, psychology and general medical practice to explore the historical thinking about depression and the contemporary relevance of the text. The work has been commissioned by Warwick Arts Centre and will tour to theatres across the UK.
“The Heritage of Violence”
The Heritage of Violence is a collaboration between Cardboard Citizens and Chickenshed Theatre Company, in which 30 young people will engage with neuroscientists, psychologists and materials from the Museum of Childhood in a theatre-making process exploring the inter-relationship of brain development and personal and social experiences of violence. The process will culminate in a unique piece of theatre that reflects the young people’s own experiences, finding and connections and provokes its audience to debate the question: Violence – Choice or Response? Performances will lead to public debates, panelled by participants and scientific collaborators, using Cardboard Citizens’ expertise in Forum Theatre to engage audiences into active discussion. Cardboard Citizens and Chickenshed will engage young people aged 16-25 who are classified as at risk, being NEET, at risk of homelessness or otherwise marginalised.
Royal College of Art
‘Devil in the Room: An Exploration of Sleep Paralysis’
£12,760 for 17 months
Sleep paralysis describes the experience of waking to a state of consciousness but complete paralysis of the body, often accompanied by terrifying hallucinations. The sensation of this can be frightening enough but is often accompanied by terrifying hypnogogic hallucinations. Across centuries and cultures, sleep paralysis sufferers report similar narratives. Some of these experiences have been suggested as an explanation for paranormal phenomena ranging from alien abduction accounts to astral projection. Filmmaker, Carla MacKinnon will work in collaboration with neuropsychologist Dr Paul Broks, Professor Christopher French and arts and technology collective seeper to make a short experimental documentary exploring the history of this state of consciousness and the science behind it.
£15,000 awarded for 10 months
‘Dead Mother’ will explore the long-term effects of the trauma of maternal loss during adolescence. Sisters Anne Brodie, a visual artist and Dr Catriona Brodie, a GP will interview and film women of different ages and backgrounds who share their experience of growing up and living with the death of their mother. Using film, photography and text, the project will attempt to explore the nature and shape of the absence, the efforts and effects involved in accommodating the loss. Of particular interest are the points in the women’s lives when they became a mother themselves, and when they reach the age at which their mother died. Scientific support will be contributed by neuroscientist Professor Sarah-Jayne Blakemore, specialist in autobiographical memory, Professor Martin Conway, and writer and psychiatrist Professor Michael Parsons.
£29,000 for 13 months
Helix is a collaboration between artist David Blandy and science writer Adam Rutherford, commissioned by Lighthouse, to create a multi-linear interactive artwork, which uses the story of the discovery of DNA as a central motif. The artwork will take the form of a digital graphic novel that exemplifies the interconnectedness of ideas and people. It will examine the parallels between the historical story of how DNA was discovered, the development of cells in evolution, and the evolution of ideas. Helix will be designed for a tablet and will be a downloadable app. It will launch at Cheltenham Science Festival 2013, accompanied by a programme of talks and broadcasts, and will later be shown as an exhibition at Lighthouse in Brighton.
‘The Squirrel Project’
£30,000 for 30 months
The Squirrel Project is an art experiment devised by photographer Leonie Hampton and filmmaker Martin Hampton, working closely with the scientists Satwant Singh and Dr Colin Jones which explores Hoarding Disorder. Leonie Hampton’s mother is one of the estimated 6% of the UK population struggling with this disorder. Hampton’s first book ‘In the Shadow of Things’ explored her family’s attempts to help her mother clear her house. This project will be a participatory art event which uses eBay as an experimental art space and clearing centre for the sale of over 2000 of her mother’s hoarded possessions that were cleared. In doing this the artist and scientist hope to explore the potential of this process of re- examination and letting go to be a therapeutic journey and examine how photography might function in this process. The event will be recorded in a book and exhibition.
Film and Video Umbrella
‘Head in the Cloud’
£28,600 for 12 months
Alluding to the ever-expanding mobile internet of cloud computing, this project, led by Film and Video Umbrella, considers our increasingly intimate, immersive relationship with computer technology, and whether a growing reliance on the online world is affecting the way we think. Consisting of three research and development collaborations by internationally acclaimed artists, Simon Faithful, Lindsay Seers and Erika Tan working in collaboration with leading neuroscientists and computer scientists, the project will explore the nuances and ramifications of this blurring interface between human beings and computers; probing and interrogating our powers of attention and capacity for memory while speculating about changing patterns of behaviour and possible new modes of information-processing and creativity. Scientific collaborators include Daniel Bor of University of Sussex, Lindy Holden Dye, David Baldwin, Dame Wendy Hall, and Nigel Shadbolt of University of Southampton.
West Yorkshire Playhouse
£30,000 for 10 months
Unlimited Theatre will create THE NOISE a sci-detective thriller set on a remote British outpost in the Antarctic about sound and its impact on us - physically, emotionally, psychologically. At the show's heart is an exploration of the neurology of sound, specifically it's impact and influence on "Memory" and how we remember/recall/forget/store information. Collaborating with musician David Edwards (aka Minotaur Shock) and research partners including Dr Denis McKeown (University of Leeds) and Professor Tim Griffiths (University of Newcastle), Unlimited will co-produce THE NOISE with Northern Stage in Newcastle and tour mid-scale UK venues in Autumn 2013.
£30,000 for 18 months
‘Well’ Based on events in Bangladesh since the 1970s where the drilling of new tube wells to resolve the endemic Cholera problem created arsenic poisoning on a mass scale, 'Well' is a vibrant work of virtuosic circus and dance theatre and also a powerful exploration of both the individual and global impact of international intervention. Metta Theatre will work with Professor Stuart Reynolds of University of Bath to research and develop the piece.
‘Honeyscribe – Florilegium’
£30,000 for 21 months
Honeyscribe was established to explore the relationship between bee health, human health, the environment and the arts. Part of this project is 'Florilegium', a light box installation which will be exhibited at a number of venues, including the Southbank Centre, with accompanying workshops. 'Florilegium' illuminates the melliferous floral sources vital for bees to sustain their colonies. A collection of botanical samples preserved at the peak of their bloom become a vibrant palette, creating a map of the biodiverse flora essential for honeybee health, making visible the importance of pollinating insects to our own wellbeing. Artist Amy Shelton will collaborate with Dr Karin Alton at the Laboratory for Apiculture and Social Insects at the University of Sussex and Dr William D J Kirk at Keele University as well as beekeepers to explore this subject.
Theatre Studio West
£30,000 for 12 months
‘Any One of Us’ Theatre Studio West will work with Dr. Brynmor Lloyd-Evans from UCL to engage 35 13-19 year olds with mental health issues through a year-long research and development process.
This work will culminate in an interactive performance piece that incorporates, text movement and sound.
£29,860 for 6 months
‘The Home’ research and development project supports the creation of six small-scale theatre performances in public spaces in Bradford and Deptford featuring older performers. Theatre companies Freedom Studios and Entelechy Arts will explore the experience of growing older and the aging process in contemporary Britain by working in collaboration with professor of age-related diseases at Kings College London, Clive Ballard and older people. There will be a three-way exchange between artists, older people and scientists investigating the way that aging affects the body and how to interpret the ageing process through performance.
£20,000 for 4 months
Invisible Heat is a project on the health effects of climate change. Our atmosphere is becoming a giant heat engine causing health problems including disease and displacement from flooding, mental illness, food insecurity and air pollution. Co-ordinated by Invisible Dust, artists Adam Chodzko, Semiconductor, Burak Arikan, Gordon Cheung, Kasia Molga and Ellie Harrison will work with scientists Professor Paul Wilkinson of London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Professor Frank Kelly of Kings College London and professor Kevin Anderson of the Tyndall Energy Programme in Manchester to explore health and climate models, predictions of future warming and the consequences. Ellie Harrison will produce a new online artwork while the remaining five artists will produce proposals for five new works.
Lucy Elizabeth Britton
‘New Dream Machine 2’
£5,933 for 5 months
Parasol Unit has commissioned ‘Dream Machine 2’, a new performance event and film by Shezad Dawood. Based around a reworking of artist Brion Gysin and scientist Ian Sommerville’s original Beat Culture-influenced Dream machine, the film will be made in consultation by Dr Mariya Moosajee of UCL Institute of Opthalmology and participants who suffer from colour blindness, optic nerve and retinal dysfunction, and cortical blindness. The film depicts a performance featuring the sculptural form of The New Dream Machine Project created by Dawood and a performance by Lebanese/French group, PRAED who will create improvised music in response to the sculpture. Alongside this, Dr Moosajee will research the visual effects generated by the Dream Machine in differing patients and how this affects their experience of the work.
‘A Body of Songs’
£30,000 for 3 months
Three leading musicians will derive inspiration from internal organs. DJ and drum and bass artist, Goldie, East London rapper Wiley and folk musicians Stornoway will engage with medical specialists to create music for Body of Songs, a project in which recording artists reflect, through rhythm, harmony, emotion, humour and scientific fact, the peculiar ways in which we understand our bodily systems. This pilot is the first step towards a full album collection. The project will be produced by Kate Bland of Cast Iron Radio, Gemma Cairney, Llywellyn ap Myrddin and Beth Clayton in collaboration with Professor Hugh Montgomery of UCL.
Lisa Marie Russo
£20,000 for 3 months
Lollipop (the name of a mastectomy scar) is a feature film script about a woman with cancer and her journey from diagnosis, through treatment and beyond. We follow her as she explores different coping mechanisms. Often she retreats into a fantasy world – a world that is vivid and surreal but also familiar. Her thoughts and emotions, along with her physical appearance and experiences, will be explored by looking at the mind and body as distinct worlds. The character herself is bold and funny, unafraid to joke about illness and death, and her humour plays a key role in her survival. Lollipop will be written by Lisa Marie Russo of Fly Film in consultation is Dr Sue Gessler of UCL and will be co-produced by Kate Ogborn.
‘Fun With Cancer Patients: Fierce’
£24,000 for 12 months
Brian Lobel with collaborate with paediatric oncologist Dr Dave Hobin at Birmingham Children’s Hospital, psychologist Dr Sue Gessler of UCL, the Teenage Cancer Trust and other artists on a project that explores the psychosocial and medical realities of cancer. Lobel will work with teenagers undergoing or having undergone cancer treatment to explore their condition and experiences through a series of ‘actions’ produced over a four month workshop process. The final exhibition at Fierce Festival 2013 will be a documentation of this process accompanied by discussion events during the festival.
‘Lumiere 2013 – Gina Czarnecki’s I’
£30,000 for 9 months
Commissioned by Artichoke as part of its Lumiere programme for 2013, I is a new piece exploring the relationship between seeing, knowing and bodily consciousness. I is a large- scale spectacular interactive light experience taking the shape of a giant projected eye which responds to participants location and movements and uses medical imaging technologies to explore current research into neurological pathways, structures and process that connect sensory information into cognition. The idea will be developed in collaboration with a collective of scientists at Durham University’s Centre for Vision and Visual Cognition as well as other UK research centres.
Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital Trust
‘The Aware Collaboration’
£30,000 for 16 months
Composer Michael Zev Gordon and poet Ruth Padel will collaborate with anaesthetists Andrew Morley from Kings College London and Jaideep Pandit from University of Oxford to create a musical work using verbatim patient accounts of awareness under general anaesthesia, collected during the 5th National Audit Project (NAP5) of the Royal College of Anaesthetists. The piece will be performed at "Aware", an engagement event organised by the Royal Society of Medicine where NAP5 will reveal their findings to the public. The event will also feature other music on dreaming and consciousness, and discussions on the underlying science.
Animate Project Limited
‘Of Mice and Men R&D’
£26,652 for 7 months
Of Mice and Men explores and develops artistic responses to biomedical research conducted on diseases and pathologies that are not restricted to one species such as cancer, tuberculosis and rabies. Animation producer, Animate is working with virologist Bentley Crudgington to partner scientists working at the intersection of veterinary and human biomedical science with animation artists to create artworks which explore the scientific data behind this subject. The project aims to help both parties develop their practice by bringing an aesthetic approach to the interrogation of data and a scientific exploration to the artistic work created.
‘The Romantic Disease: An artistic Investigation of Tuberculosis’
£18,670 for 11 months
An art/science investigation into mankind's strange relationship with 'the Romantic Disease' Tuberculosis (TB) from early superstitions about the disease, through the development of antibiotics, to the latest research into whole genome sequencing of bacteria. Artist Anna Dumitriu will work with TB specialists and researchers to create a significant new body of work, leading to an exhibition, a series of practical workshops and discussions, and a symposium, to widen public engagement in the issues around this clinically and culturally significant disease. The exhibition will involve textile installations and focus on the relationship of early antibiotics to chemical dyes.
‘Small Wonders: an art film project exploring the beauty and danger of micro-organisms & protozoons living on surface-water of lakes and ponds’
£9,998 for 3 months
Small Wonders is a 3D short art film project exploring the beauty and danger of micro- organisms and protozoons living on surface-water. Drawing from over 40 years of research by UCL microbiologist Terence M. Preston, the artist intends to combine 16mm microscopic film with fragments of recorded conversations between the artist and microbiologist. The film is intended to be projected large and in 3D and evoke a sense of wonder and fascination for this minuscule subject matter. An online blog will document the project which will culminate in an exhibition with a Q&A panel discussion.
£29,830 for 8 months
Ecotoxic is a series of research projects by artists Ariel Guzik, Brandon Ballengée, Micol Assaël and Kuai Shen exploring the impact of environmental pollution on animal behaviour and health. Tracing and unravelling the often-invisible effects of human activity on other species, through their distinctive artistic practices and in collaboration with biologists and environmental scientists, the artists aim to highlight the circulations, disturbances and interconnections between human technology, ecology, and the health of species in our contaminated seas, invaded forests and technologised landscapes.
‘The Kindness of Strangers’
£29,459 for 14 months
The Kindness of Strangers takes you into the curious life of the paramedic. Step into an ambulance and rush through the city streets to witness the full spectrum of the human experience. Traffic accidents, new born babies, unidentified lodged objects, obnoxious drunks, hypochondriacs, an old lady who has just lost her husband of 47 years, drug overdoses and then home for a cup of tea. All in a day’s work. Using a mix of interaction, multi-media video, original composition, sound and scenography, curious directive explore modern scientific ideas through devised theatre. For this project they will be working with Professor Roger Kneebone, GP Dr Alec Broom and members of the ambulance service to advise on the piece.
‘Recovery: a sonic brain injury drama of being disassembled, and reassembled, slightly askew’
£30,000 for 30 months
'Recovery' is an audio-based artwork inspired by Shannon's experience of nearly dying from a subdural empyema, a rare brain infection. It will be developed with Roy McConnell, Consultant Neurosurgeon, and experts in Neurology from the Royal Victoria Hospital (Belfast); and artists in the Sonic Arts Research Centre (Queens University, Belfast). Part sound-installation, part radio-drama, part visceral-roller-coaster-ride, 'Recovery' immerses a single audience member at a time in the process of reintegrating into the world with an acquired brain injury, of being 'disassembled, and reassembled, slightly askew'. It is a story of terror, discovery, humor, but above all, hope.
‘Overpowered: Is the Science an Art or the Art a Science?’
£29,820 for 16 months
Overpowered is an experiential theatrical presentation from Christopher Green using the techniques of stage hypnosis, clinical hypnotherapy, original music and showbiz, to explore the impact of the power of suggestion. Through collaboration with researchers, Professor David Oakley at UCL and Professor Christopher French at Goldsmiths, the show will explore the psychology of what happens during hypnosis and ask fundamental questions about how we experience our own consciousness.
Rise Films Ltd
£30,000 for 24 months
The Mouse is a love story concealed within a fierce urban thriller. The film dramatises the interface of bipolar disorder, psychiatry and deprivation in the life of a vulnerable teenager. The project is a collaboration between filmmaker Theo Baines, adolescent psychiatrist Dr Simon Lewis (clinical lead, Simmons House NHS residential unit) and cinema story-editor Walter Donohue (Paris Texas, 28 Days Later). The film explores the impact of social and economic deprivation in adolescence on young people's first experiences of mental illness and psychiatry, and on their subsequent risk of isolation, unemployment and homelessness in early adulthood.
‘I want to be an elephant’
£30,000 for 5 months
I've always wanted to be an elephant... I do not mean look like an elephant, I mean really be one: eating what elephants eat, walking how elephants walk, sensing how elephants sense, and even thinking how elephants think. The project team of Thomas Thwaites, Harry Trimble and a number of scientific advisers propose to make an elephant exoskeleton, that transforms a person in to an elephant. In doing so, the project explores what it means to be human by de-humanising, investigates psychological and philosophical ideas of embodiment, the possibilities of future medical/enhancement prostheses and technologies, and draws on the rich mythological and spiritual history of humans becoming animal.
Dr John Haynes
Battersea Arts Centre
‘The Eradication of Schizophrenia in Western Lapland – research and development for a new play to tour in 2014’
£22,585 for 2 months
Ridiculusmus is planning an 8-week research and development project in order to create a new play entitled The Eradication of Schizophrenia in Western Lapland. David Woods and Jon Haynes, Artistic Directors, will consult and interact with two molecular psychopharmacologists and psychiatrists, and a clinical psychologist and family therapist to investigate the effects of drugs on dialogue in a therapeutic setting. In particular, the project focuses on the treatment of schizophrenia and anxiety disorders, in order to write a script that is anchored in the reality of contemporary medical practice.
Unseen: the lives of looking
This first feature length essay film by contemporary artist Dryden Goodwin will delve into distinct worlds of intense scrutiny, through the self-reflexive prism of his singular and intense drawing and filmmaking activity. 'Unseen: The Lives of Looking' will explore different scales of looking, different forms of looking, different reasons for looking, in a poetic and metaphysically charged journey, charting a series of close encounters by the artist. The film will focus primarily on four individ uals, each with a distinct relationship to looking: a forensic scientist, a surgeon, a clairvoyant and an astronomer. Working beyond conventional narrative and script, yet weaving compelling intricate emotional through lines, the film will be informed by the close observation of each world. The artist's own gaze and implicit presence will forge the bond that links the lives of these probing observers. Growing out of Goodwin's long-term investigation into expansive forms of portraiture, the fi lm aims to unlock diverse worlds, to expose the kinship of those who live by the sensory rules of observation and visual analysis in the pursuit of knowledge. Revealing the specialist apparatus and methods of the forensic scientist's gathering of minute evidence, the surgeon's effecting of medical change, the clairvoyant's voicing of extra-sensory perception and the astronomer's decoding of the cosmos, an episodic structure will emerge in a shifting visual palette. The film will extend into a ci nematic context the role of the soundtrack, a key component in Goodwin's work.
The Anatomy of Melancholy the Opera
The Anatomy of Melancholy the Opera is a treatment of three relationships in music and drama. 1. The relationship between neuroscientific study and the state(s) of depression. 2. The relationship between neuroscientific study and the effects of music on the brain. 3. The relationship between points 1. and 2.. By plotting these relationships in an operatic exploration of Burton's seminal work, we hope to present current scientific investigation into depression in a new dance-opera, fo r orchestra, electronics, voice and body. This work will be staged in The Peckham Hotel, a new multi-purpose arts venue that will be the largest of its kind in South London, as part of its launch season in summer 2013. By performing there we hope to bring contemporary science and contemporary opera to audiences who may not otherwise find these accessible. We believe that depression is an extremely important issue for both art and science to examine, and by combining the two (with expert guida nce from Wellcome Trust Professor Jonathan Flint) we hope to facilitate much-needed discussion in the more impoverished areas of London. While our research and development phase of the project will undoubtedly highlight particular areas we wish to focus on, we are also keen for this work to respond directly to research we undertake in the community in which the performances will take place.
July deadline, October committee
This research and development project supports the construction of a performance installation for children aged six to ten to explore vocal anatomy, the science of vocal sound and speech science. Children will invent magical words and choruses of vocal sound by playing with ways they can speak and vocalise in a digital environment at The Point in Hampshire. The artists will engage with an expert from voice medicine and an international scientific advisory panel in the development of the work. They will also involve young people, teachers and carers in testing and refining the interactive experience. Age-appropriate and curriculum-adapted science education activities will be integrated into the work.
Body Pods is a series of podcasts created by 12 artists and 12 biomedical scientists in collaboration, each inspired by a different part of the body. Based on their previous set of commissions, Everyday Moments, these pieces will be artworks in themselves, using the podcast form to engage audiences in their own time and space and intimately communicating to them as individuals. Distribution will be one per month through Fuel's website, through media partners and, potentially, through listening points within scientific and medical institutions.
'R.I.P.' is a 16-mm film, events series and website exploring western culture's relationship with death as seen through the experiences of an embalmer, an alternative funeral director and sociologists from the Centre for Death and Society at University of Bath. It will investigate aspects of contemporary embalming, including the technical and anatomical processes, as well as the philosophical and sociological significance of the practice.
“Science and Superstition”
'Science and Superstition' explores the extraordinary life and times of Lydiard Park's herbalist and society hostess, Lady Johanna St John, using a combination of her correspondence and medicinal writings. A collaboration between Lydiard Park, Sixth Sense Theatre, biochemist Professor Timothy Peters and historian Clare Hickman, the project will develop and produce a site-specific youth theatre performance with accompanying lecture series and education pack illuminating her life and practice.
“This Mess is a Place”
Through large-scale installation, an interdisciplinary public event and fiction writing, 'This Mess is a Place' builds upon connections between collection and compulsion in Zoe Mendelson's art practice, interpreting current psychological understanding of hoarding disorder. Through consultation with clinical psychologist Dr Alberto Pertusa and nurse consultant in cognitive behavioural therapy and mental health Satwant Singh, the project investigates the psychopathology of hoarding, its onset and its treatment, and questions how and when hoarding separates from collecting to become pathological.
D R Hood
'The Session' is a short animated film examining communication between a schizophrenic patient, family members and professionals (the family therapy team). The film draws on material from a family therapy session to illuminate communication within a family unit in the context of schizophrenia - when the patient's reality is in a different dimension to the family's reality. The film will be made in consultation with consultant psychiatrist Dr Tom Stevens and will be a mix of stylised live action, stop frame and hand-drawn animation. Three different directors of animation will highlight the three different perspectives and conflicting 'truths' of those present in the therapy session.
Working with psychiatrists specialising in the treatment of seasonal affective disorder, arts producer Trigger will install a sculptural prototype installation created from white light sources inside Kibble Palace, a glasshouse in Glasgow's botanic gardens, in January 2012. Local arts organisations and venues will co-curate with Trigger a programme of performance within the space to attract audiences to experience the installation. The aim is to build dialogue around the research into the impact of light on our health.
“On Torture: Research and Development”
The play 'On Torture' will explore the psychology and ethics of torture. It asks two questions: 'Why do good people do bad things?' and 'How do we judge them?' 'On Torture' will critically explore the social and environmental factors that affect individual behaviour. The team will research the theories of experts - such as Professor Philip Zimbardo (originator of the Stanford Prison Experiment), Professors Alex Haslam and Stephen Reicher, and psychologist Dr Jeffrey Kaye - as well as personal experiences of torture victims and ethical perspectives on the subject. The final piece will be a multi-layered exploration of the factors that influence human behaviour in extreme circumstances.
Abandoned Goods is an experimental film essay, directed by Pia Borg and Edward Lawrenson. Shot on 16mm and high-definition digital video, the short film is about the extraordinary collection of artworks created by people detained in a mental asylum, who were encouraged to create under the artist Edward Adamson. In the late 1940s, Adamson established an art studio at Netherne Hospital. Currently stored at Lambeth Hospital, the works are about to be moved to various internationally renowned museum s and archives. Charting the removal the objects to their new homes, our film will explore the changing contexts in which the Adamson Collection was produced and displayed. Focusing on the institutional spaces through which these objects have traveled (from the austere circumstances of a post-war asylum to the rarefied surroundings of an international museum), our film will blend animation, fiction, imaginative recreation and oral testimony to prompt profound questions about the perception of th e art and of the impulses behind creative expression. Experimenting with film form to investigate these theoretical and historical concerns, our film is envisioned as a stirring tribute the pioneering significance of the collection and a moving evocation of the stories of the patients who created them.
ADDICT aims to explore the processes of recovery from drug & alcohol addiction by making the journey more visible, transparent and better understood. Collective enquiry and collaborative discourse between a curator, leading addiction psychologist; and an international lens based artist together with people at differing stages of recovery is central to its success. Contemporary art as a form of engagement and dialogue within recovery, a catalyst for change and a mechanism for public discourse/ dissemination will be explored. Portraiture as dialogue will be the main conceptual approach used to map the recovery process alongside the shifts in identity required. Central to this is the identification of both the individual and collective motivational agents for change. Methodology, lines of enquiry/concept will mirror the recovery process by putting participants in control of their representation. A range of creative options, from video speech acts and per-formative durational port raiture will offer participants tools for self expression and form the basis of final works produced. The primary artistic strand of enquiry will focus on portraiture of the process of recovery, where the process of making art with participants is the conceptual premise, where art is conceived out of dialogue/engagement. The projects artistic findings/outputs will form the basis of a new body of work produced by the artist for a 2nd stage project/national exhibition tour. The artist intend s to use a spectrum of methodologies from staged scenarios, storytelling, scripts and improvisation, leading to a series of filmed and photographic portraits made with participants in recovery.
I am interested in the way in which medical information, particularly genetic information, is interpreted, given and received between practitioner and patient. We know more about our predisposition towards a particular illness or disease than ever before, largely due to advances in DNA research, and over the next few years, this knowledge will become yet more sophisticated. My interest lies in examining the potential gap between this information and our ability to do anything about it. Through research, the expertise and experience of Professor Rahman and her colleagues, and workshops with actors, I intend to write a play which explores the impact of DNA data upon our lives and the ambiguous area of how much, in reality, we may actually want to know. Information is not the same thing as knowledge, and if 'humankind cannot bear very much reality' (T.S.Eliot) then the question is how much is 'very much' and what, of all this information to which we now have access, constitutes 'reality'?
Centrally Heated Knickers
R&D of chromogenic bacteria sculpture series
Above me the wide blue sky
Chernobyl’s Horses R&D
Small Awards: October deadline, January committee
Birmingham Contemporary Music Group
'Resolution' brings together emerging biomedical scientists and composers to work with young people at Key Stage 4 to create new music that explores the theme of inflammation. It is a partnership project between Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and the Rheumatology Research Group based at the Institute of Biomedical Research at the University of Birmingham. The project will consist of professional development for the composers and scientists, in-school composing workshops, the creation of online resources and scores, and a public discussion and performances.
University College London
“Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience Poetry Residency”
As poet-in-residence at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience (ICN), James Wilkes will collaborate with Professor Sophie Scott and other researchers to produce a new work of poetry that engages with the Institute's neuroscientific research into speech production and processing. James will also write a research blog and curate three public conversations between neuroscientists and humanities researchers. The residency will culminate in the publication of James's work and an interdisciplinary symposium, co- hosted by the ICN and the London Consortium, bringing together poets, neuroscientists, literary scholars and philosophers. Recordings and films of these events will be made available online.
“Ming of Harlem”
'Ming of Harlem' is an experimental documentary film examining the case study of Ming and Al - a Siberian tiger and an American alligator - who secretly shared a high-rise Manhattan apartment with New Yorker Antoine Yates until 2003, when the discovery of their story caused a public outcry and widespread disbelief. Working collaboratively with psychologist Dr Sarah Knight, the project draws on interviews with those directly involved and project advisors, presenting an analysis of animal studies through ideas and images of human-animal relations. Framing anthrozoological research in a film format, it will discuss and investigate the use of predatory, territorial creatures as extreme pets, proposing four further perspectives: Yates, both animals and the apartment as protagonists.
'Significant Walks' explores the reality of walking for individuals with chronic lower back pain. Initiated by the collaborative team of artist Shirley Chubb, musculoskeletal physiotherapy specialist Professor Ann Moore, biomedical engineer Dr Kambiz Saber- Sheikh and digital artist Neil Bryant, the project involves a group of participants from East Sussex. The aim of the project is to present an immersive digital artwork synthesising eye- level video documentation of the participants' personal walks with simultaneously gathered biomechanical data. Exploring the interpretive qualities of visual effects processes, the team will then work with participants to identify the most effective ways to express the nature and challenge of their personal movement. The resulting films will be presented at visual arts and science venues, including learning and public environments, where the life- size scale of the work will engage viewers in micro-journeys that both interpret clinically accurate data and express individual experience.
“The ‘Occasional Cobra’ Project”
David Clegg has spent more than 9000 hours interviewing people with dementia in care homes and hospitals, often returning to the same people over several years to document changes in their autobiographical memory and language use. This project opens up for research and creative purposes a vast, uncensored archive of this first-person testimony to offer an insight into the progress of dementia and into aspects of national and social history that are too often forgotten. Experts from the biomedical sciences, linguistics, philosophy and the arts will have the opportunity to share ideas between disciplines and edit the individual stories. Leading actors will then record their adaptations as dramatic monologues, and the results of the project will be released as a book and CD pack. The book will combine newly commissioned essays, digital imaging and hand printing to explore visually how the dementia has changed the stories over time. David will be working with Andrea Capstick of Bradford Dementia Group, Dominic Ffytche of the Institute of Psychiatry and Alison Wray from Cardiff University School of English.
'Mess' is a new theatre piece by Caroline Horton based on Horton's personal experience of anorexia and recovery. Created by artists in collaboration with experts from King's College, Maudsley Hospital and the Ethox Centre, it is darkly funny and deeply moving and offers a window into an internal world of addiction, control and obsession, finally rejected for the outside world. It aims to open up discourse about anorexia that is robust and accessible to a non-specialist audience. 'Mess' will launch at the 2012 Edinburgh Fringe Festival and will tour to studio theatres.
“Systematic Art - Revaluing Autistic Thinking”
Jon Adams is an artist with Asperger's syndrome. His art reveals his naturally systematic thinking: his inclination and ability to uncover systems within everyday interactions and landscapes. Adams will work with Professor Simon Baron-Cohen, Director of the Autism Research Centre in Cambridge, who believes that systematic thinking is one particular characteristic of people on the autism spectrum. Through a process of residency, conversations, testing and making, Adams will develop a 'stratigraphic symphony', a sound performance incorporating visual material, and an online presentation that can explore this subject.
'Stream' is the research and development phase of a collaboration between visual artist Emma Hunter and heart imaging consultant Philip Kilner of the Royal Brompton Hospital. 'Stream' will focus on water flow properties inherent in the structures and flow dynamics of the human heart and blood system. The artist will create a body of work that will be a poetic reimagining of the inner landscape of the human heart, capturing its embodiment of water and inviting the viewer to make visual connections between inner and outer landscapes.
Dorset County Hospital
“2 kidneys 5 tales”
Filmmaker Peter Snelling and renal dialysis patients at Dorset County Hospital will explore experience of renal failure, the science and pressures of diet restrictions, and the tension between home and hospital life. A renal dietician will collaborate with the filmmaker and participants to creatively explore the relationship between renal science and lived experience. A local food producer and cook will encourage a creative and imaginative approach to a restricted diet. The filmmaker will create five short films with the patients about the subject.
January deadline, April committee
The Chasm and the Sorrow, Anton Chekhov and Sakhalin Island
Artist Andrew Dawson, neuroscientist Jonathan Cole and Chekhov’s biographer, Donald Rayfield in consultation with medical historian Marius Turda will explore Chekhov’s extraordinary journey across Siberia to the penal colony on Sakhalin Island in 1890. At great personal risk he toured settlements, interviewed thousands of people and categorised disease and conditions in one of the largest studies of its time, publishing the results in a book, ‘Sakhalin Island’. The book combines literary observation with medical data in an attempt to humanise conditions there. The project will culminate in a theatrical workshop and exhibition to explore Chekhov’s relevance today and how his experience in this penal colony influenced his subsequent, more famous, literary output.
New Perspectives on Disability and Medicine
New Perspectives on Disability and Medicine is a collaborative project involving artist Mat Fraser, the Research Centre for Museums and Galleries, the Hunterian Museum, the Science Museum, the Royal College of Physicians and SHAPE. The project aims to engage the public as well as professionals in the field of biomedical science and museums in a reassessment of widely held assumptions surrounding disability. This will be achieved through the creation of a new artistic work – a live performance using museum objects and object histories and blending drama, comedy, dance and cabaret – shaped by a collaboration that brings together expertise in the history of medicine, disability, museums and public engagement.
After the Rainfall
After the Rainfall is a new piece of devised theatre by curious directive in association with Watford Palace Theatre. Working with writer Alice Birch, the devisers have created a piece of work for presentation at the Edinburgh Fringe 2012 (as part of Escalator East to Edinburgh’s programme) and Watford Palace Theatre which explores the cultural effects of social media on the evolution of human psychology, drawing on the study of ants to explore the interface between humans and technology. Curious Directive will be collaborating with a myrmecologist, evolutionary biologist and social media expert in the development process.
Navigations is a project about the brain, and the respective approaches of medical science and art to how we understand it. Artists Iain Gardner and Alec Finlay are working with the medical team and researchers at Glasgow’s Beatson Institute for Cancer Research and the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre, to develop and produce two short artist’s animations and a series of digital prints, for exhibition online, in cinemas and galleries and health care sites. The project is curated and managed by Animate Projects and Paintings in Hospitals.
‘Surface’ is a new opera piece by Metta Theatre which explores the relationship between voice and self, and the journey to communication of those with Locked-in Syndrome. Interweaving music, sound and video, the piece follows the path of a physically paralysed but cognitively-aware patient towards communication. Both a powerful human story and a fascinating insight into cutting-edge assistive communication technologies, the piece is created collaboratively with the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability. The research process will include interviews conducted with patients and will culminate in two semi-staged performances.
Respiratory consultant Dr Gordon MacGregor will collaborate with Gareth Williams, composer in residence at Scottish Opera to explore the frailty of voice and traditionally held opinions of voice projection in opera within the context of cystic fibrosis. People with cystic fibrosis cannot be in the same room together as they are in danger of passing infections to each other. Breath Cycle will examine the cultural impact of the condition, specifically the enforced separation of people who have cystic fibrosis.
Jacek Ludwig Scarso
‘Julius’ is an imaginary coming of age story, depicted through a fusion of physical performance, film and innovative music-theatre. It explores the issues raised by Obsessive Compulsive Disorder with a particular focus on the experience of intrusive thoughts. With an original text and a new music score, it will result in a live theatre production accompanied by a film installation, education programme and discussion events, as well as written and video documentation. The project will be researched with the contribution of experts in psychiatry and medical history and in collaboration with London Arts in Health Forum, Bethlem Museum and OCD Action. www.elastictheatre.com(opens in a new tab)
Small Awards: July deadline, October committee
Synthesis is an intensive laboratory-based exchange between artists, synthetic biologists and engineers, collaboratively exploring synthetic biology’s ideas and techniques, and its social and cultural implications. Initiated and run by Arts Catalyst in collaboration with University College London and the University of Edinburgh, the exchange process is intended to explore and challenge the scientists’ ideas about themselves, their research, and its social dimensions, and to inspire proposals for future arts projects. Artist Melanie Jackson will make a film from the exchange, incorporating interviews with participants and film of the practice of synthetic biology which will be shown in London and then tour to other galleries and festivals. This will be accompanied by other forums and discussions events for the general public.
Dr Katharina Wulff
University of Oxford
Sun Dial: Night Watch
Scientist Katharina Wulff from the department of Circadian Neuroscience, University of Oxford and artist Susan Morris will collaborate to create artwork about ‘social jetlag’: the rising drift between our innate biological clock and manmade routines that society imposes on us. The work will examine how the effects of electric lighting, ‘working days’ and a a 24-hour lifestyle often operate at the expense of our natural sleep patterns which risks damage to our mental and physical health. Using research techniques to capture the artist’s sleep and work patterns over 365 days, three large multi-coloured tapestries will be created which will be exhibited at John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford and an international research conference plus accompanying activities for the public.
Artist Isobel Manning will explore the ritual and science of hand washing in the hospital environment. Working at Great Ormond Street Hospital, she will deliver a series of investigative workshops for young patients and their families, investigating why they are encouraged to wash their hands, and how this practice limits the spread of infectious diseases. The project will also look at how this custom developed historically and the cultural issues that arise. The artist will work in collaboration with nursing staff and the microbiology team at the hospital to develop an animated film based on flick-books created through the workshops which will be shown throughout the hospital.
‘Centrefold’ brings together two medical practitioners, an artist and a film producer to create a ten- minute animated documentary that explores the ethics of labiaplasty surgery in the UK. The film follows two women who intend to undergo the procedures. Their personal journeys will be juxtaposed with research drawn from the work of gynaecologists and psychologists at the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Institute of Women’s Health and information gather through a public research blog. The film invites its intended audience of adolescent and adult women to consider the ethics of this procedure in relation to issues surrounding class and religion while gaining a greater understanding of the anatomy of the genitals and the science involved. The film will be screened via film festivals, medical conferences and the internet.
‘Laboratory Life’ is an art-science production workshop, exhibition and talks programme, exploring the use of new technologies in biomedicine, taking place as part of the Brighton Science Festival in February and March 2011. At its heart is a nine day publicly accessible production workshop which will result in four new collaborative art-science projects. The work will address an ambivalence in the general public of the transformation of healthcare and medical research through new technologies such as informatics, biotechnologies, new materials and robotics by adopting an open structure where the public will observe and engage with artists and scientists as they work with technologies in a public lab environment. The projects created in the open lab will be subsequently showcased in a series of public events including an exhibition, a schools open day, public presentations, a live radio broadcast and tours to galleries and festivals.
This project involves a collaboration between artist Joan Molloy, biomedical and social scientists, and women who have experience postpartum psychosis, or severe postnatal depression. Molloy will complete a period of residency at the MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics at Cardiff University in order to develop work that reflects upon issues of motherhood and inheritance – the complexity of generic science mirroring the intricacies of the social, ethical and familial implications of the illness. The artist will also engage with women who have experienced postpartum psychosis through a two day workshop in order to capture the voice of these women and enable the scientists involved to improve their understanding of the emotional aspects of the illness. The artist will create a body of work, including a film, which encapsulates the science and the personal histories which will be exhibited in Cardiff and London and on the web.
‘Side Effects’ is a dance-theatre project involving a collaboration between dANTE OR dIE Theatre and the School of Pharmacy at the University of London which explores people’s ever-changing experience of medicine. Through intergenerational workshops and a research and development period, a new piece of dance-theatre will investigate how people take medicine, why they take it – or why they don’t, and the personal stories resulting from our lifelong relationship with tablets, injections, pharmacists, doctors and operations. Side Effects will be a humorous and playful production where five performers between the ages of 21 and 75 will present verbal and choreographic slices of medical histories, with narratives inspired by memories: an attack of teenage acne, childhood asthmatic attacks, catching pubic lice from a first love, urging the audience to ponder the contents of their medicine cabinets with a new frame of mind.
Small Awards: October deadline, January committee
UCLH NHS Foundation Trust
Cancer and Chaos
In March 2012 University College London Hospitals (UCLH) will open Europe’s leading integrated Cancer Centre. An artist in residency will run concurrently with this major development and culminate in a large scale art work to be displayed in the windows of their new building. Artist Simeon Nelson will undertake the residency and work with researchers, patients and staff to produce the new piece. Nelson works with ideas from complexity theory, cybernetics, biology of the body and philosophy of science. His research focuses on imagining cancer as a complex adaptive system, arising within the body. Talks and symposia will also be held exploring the science of cancer as part of the residency, a publication on the project will also be published.
Claire and The Island That Lost Its Voice
Artist Shona Illingworth will collaborate with scientists Professor Martin Conway, Dr Catherine Loveday, and Claire Robertson, a woman who has severe retrograde amnesia and prosopagnosia – the inability to recognise faces. The collaboration will explore new biomedical insight into Claire’s condition, gained through research using new camera technology to unlock previously inaccessible memories. The work will draw on striking parallels between retrograde amnesia and the cultural erasure of St Kilda, a remote archipelago off the west coast of Scotland. These two influences will be explored in an evocative new art installation and film. This grant will fund the first phase of this project. It will include research and development of a single screen film and related installation, two interdisciplinary forums, the development of a script for the final film as well as establishing partners to exhibit the finished work and fund production.
Artist Amy Shelton will collaborate with scientists, artists, poets, beekeepers, musicians, shamanic practitioners and children to investigate the relationship between the honeybee and human health. In ancient Egypt the role of the ‘Honeyscribe’ was to record every drop of honey produced. Shelton will assume the function of a contemporary honeyscribe, charting current threats to the health of our bees and their relationship to our health. This project will culminate in an exhibition of new artworks, accompanying book, workshops and a symposium.
Sound & Fury
Going Dark is a new immersive performance created by Sound&Fury about a man losing his sight due to macular degeneration. Using the company’s innovative theatre work in surround sound and design, Going Dark will explore perception and vision through the story of a man dealing with the consequences of the onset of blindness. This grant will fund a period of research and development with scientific advisors Dr Ffytche and Professor Rogers and patients.
Royal College of Art
The Immortal is an experimental project exploring definitions of life, mechanics and artificiality. By connecting a number of life support machines together this new work, created by designer Revital Cohen, will attempt to mimic a full biological structure. Through the visibility of mechanical circuits,sheer scale and electrical exhaustion, the kinetic contraption will seek to reflect on the ethical and philosophical questions surrounding life prolonging technologies. Cohen will work will work with experts from medical engineering and electronics to create the work. The process will be documented and expanded on by experts from the fields of biomedical ethics, philosophy, biomedical science and aesthetics in an accompanying publication.
Comma Press specialise in producing short stories. They will commission and publish an anthology of ten short stories that imagine near-future scenarios arising out of biomedical research. They will ask ten selected authors to explore the ethical consequences that may accompany these possible developments. Each story will be inspired by the work of a specific research scientist who will be closely involved in the process, and write short ‘afterwords’ in the book. Publication of the anthology will be accompanied by a short tour of public readings and discussions.
2401 Objects (previously H.M.)
Henry Molaison (H.M.) underwent experimental brain surgery in 1953, leaving him with severe long-term memory loss and the inability to form new memories. In 2009 his brain underwent a histology study in the USA, to try and gain further understanding into long-term memory. This will be the starting point for a new piece of theatre by Analogue. This grant will fund the research and development phase of this project with neuroscientists. It will also encompass the main period of writing and devising the piece. The team will showcase the work at Edinburgh 2011.
The Old Vic
The Old Vic New Voices community team will develop a new multimedia musical ‘epidemic’. As part of this process, the Old Vic will work with experts in infectious disease to run several debates involving the public. These debates will place health and hygiene in their cultural context and initiate debate in the community at large. These conversations will act as source material to inform a creative process involving a professional playwright and composer to create a narrative structure, characters and initial scenes for EPIDEMIC. Community participants, scientific experts and professional experts will then work up this into an initial sharing of the work.
Small Awards: January deadline, April committee
Dr Edward Wickham
Roger go to Yellow Three
Roger go to Yellow Three will be a new musical work exploring the challenges of aural perception and intelligibility in complex auditory environments: the so-called ‘cocktail party’ problem. A vocal consort of six singers will explore through live performance problems related to ‘auditory streaming’ – something that affects all sorts of people from air-traffic controllers to musical composers. The performance will be an opportunity to collect experimental data in a live performance scenario and highlight social and cultural challenges of hearing in a complex auditory environment. The project will include performance, workshop and a recording using sound-around technology.
Autobiographer is a sound installation and performance that combines the textures of four amplified voices with a richly detailed soundtrack. Underpinning this sound work is a first hand investigation into the condition of dementia, illustrated by the fracturing of a central voice: the character of Flora. Autobiographer is created by performer and sound designer Melanie Wilson; it originally received research and development funding through a Small Arts Award in 2010. This award is for final development, rehearsals and production costs.
Penny Dreadful Productions
The Etherdome will be a new piece of theatre about the discovery of anaesthesia; exploring the impact it has had on surgical practice and on the three men who each claimed to have discovered it. Working with anaesthetists and medical historians, Penny Dreadful will use humour, music and energy to create exciting theatre about a fascinating period of history and its impact on medicine and society. The Etherdome will premiere at the Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh Fringe 2011 and then tour.
Cartoon de Salvo
The Irish Giant
The Irish Giant is a new theatre production that brings to the stage a true story that unites science, medicine and theatre. It’s a tale of two remarkable men. John Hunter is a pioneering 18th century surgeon obsessed with life, death – and abnormal bodies. Charles Byrne is an 8ft-tall Irishman and Georgian London’s biggest celebrity. The Irish Giant recalls a pivotal moment in the history of medicine and asks: who owns our bodies – and who should?
The research and development of The Irish Giant was supported by a previous Small Arts Award and the funding of the second stage sees the production completed, the biomedical science content developed and the initiation of an educational package to be offered alongside the show.
Consciousness will be a series of workshops bringing award-winning theatre company Complicite together with science writer Rita Carter to explore ideas of consciousness, identity and free will. The workshops will be joined by three eminent neuroscientists, Chris and Uta Frith and Patrick Haggard. The workshops will centre on three issues at the forefront of scientific investigation, and which exist in a fascinating overlap between theatre and the experience of consciousness.
Audio Visual Arts North East
Exhaustion will be a new artistic work that explores the human body under duress, from the perspectives of the artist, scientists, athletes and the public. Artist Richard Fenwick will make a new digital film with Dr Paula Ansley, her research team in the Division of Sport Sciences at Northumbria University and patients at a clinic for rehabilitating underperforming, chronically fatigued athletes. www.avfestival.co.uk(opens in a new tab)
Reproductive Futures will investigate how innovations in reproductive technology might influence our view of parenthood and childhood. By creating new stories and narratives built on new reproductive opportunities this project will explore how these developments might change and broaden the meaning of family. It will also ask, through familiar characterisation, whether there remains a recognisable story to tell children or whether new rituals, fairytales and nursery rhymes might be introduced. A new artwork that engages the public with the ideas raised with the reproductive technology will be created. www.zoeworks.co.uk(opens in a new tab)
John B O’Shea
Abandon Normal Devices
Pigs Bladder Football
Through mutually creative and scientific experiments, artist John O’Shea and Professor John Hunt at Liverpool University’s Clinical Engineering Unit, will cultivate a uniquely captivating sculptural object: a “football” grown from living cells. The voices of young people will be brought in to the project from an early stage through engaging a youth sports team in specially devised hands-on workshops – transforming actual pigs’ bladders into footballs. The numerous creative outputs will be presented publicly within the Abandon Normal Devices festival, which is part of the Cultural Olympiad. www.andfestival.org.uk(opens in a new tab)
Small Awards: April deadline, July committee
Captain Ko and the planet of rice
Captain Ko and the planet of rice will be a new piece of contemporary theatre. The work will use the metaphor of space travel to allow the audience to understand how the neurological processes responsible for reconstructing the past are equally as active in imagining the future. They hope the work will also encourage audiences to sympathise with the feelings of disorientation, temporal confusion, apraxia and isolation undergone by sufferers of the Alzheimer’s Disease. The work with be a collaboration between Dancing Brick theatre company and Professor Sergio Della Sala, University of Edinburgh.
Kazuko Hohki Productions
Incontinental is a new theatre performance exploring Faecal Incontinence. The initial research phase was also supported through a Small Arts Award. Artist Kazuko Hohki will collaborate with Alastair Forbes at UCL and specialists working in the field of Gastroenterology to create a new production. The resulting small-scale theatre show will be presented in an initial showcase of 7 performances at UCLH and Battersea Arts Centre.
Dr Anna Fenemore
Site and Smell
Dr Anna Fenemore and Pigeon Theatre will create a new performance work that explores the neuroscience and psychology of special and olfactory memory. A complex ‘smell-scape’ will be developed. The performance will explore how smell links to our processes of long-term memory formation, specifically our memories of space or site. The immersive and interactive performance will be a collaboration with Cognitive Neuroscientist Dr Colin Lever at the University of Durham and Cognitive Psychologist Professor Martin Conway at the University of Leeds.
And you were in it
Dreaming is mysterious, primal and personal. Theatre Studio West will work with Dr Martina Reynolds, Brunel University to educate and creatively explore the psychology of dreams. Young participants will be guided and challenged to explore dreams through their own dream diaries and active research, alongside creative sessions to dramatise their ideas and findings. This will culminate in a multimedia exhibition and performance created by the young people, consisting of movement, monologues, films, posters and music.
Dr Steve Ball
The development of the script for Wounded was supported by a Small Arts Award. The play explores the dilemmas facing medical practitioners who treat soldiers as they return from war, and particularly the how lessons from the First World War are still relevant in medicine today. This funding will support the production of 20 performances of the play for school and general public audiences as part of the Birmingham Repertory Theatre’s off site programme. The performances will take place at the territorial army field hospital in Birmingham.
Prof Andrew Lewis
Lexicon - Dyslexia: sound, sign and sense
Working with a team of specialists in dyslexia research, composer Andrew Lewis will create a sonic art work using spoken text as its raw material which immerses the audience in a 360° spatial sound experience. Words will be disassembled into their constituent parts and reassembled into new and surprising musical combinations. The work will highlight dyslexia and draw attention to some of the current theoretical thinking around the role played by deficits in aural and phonological and phonographic processing. The piece will tour across Wales and the UK.
(False) Memories are made of this
Artist Alasdair Hopwood will collaborate with Professor Christopher French to undertake a residency at the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit (APRU) and Goldsmiths College, University of London. He will create a new body of work exploring false memory. The project will include a new ‘Archive of False Memory’ website, a series of talks and an exhibition.
To cut a limb with iron when the moon is rising in the sign which governs it is a terrible thing
Artist, Samantha Rebello will collaborate with historian Dr Bettina Bildhauer to create a new film work. The film will explore medieval medical and alchemical imagery and juxtapose this with contemporary scientific imagery. This contrast will expose the stretches of the medieval imagination which found connections between bodies, planets, elements and personalities and casts a great contrast to the scientific gaze of today.
Teresa Margolles Production Residency
Artist Teresa Margolles practices forensic medicine in Mexico’s public morgues, she has a dual profession as a scientist and an artist. Glasgow Sculpture Studios have invited her to create a new body of sculpture resulting in an exhibition in Glasgow and an extensive events programme. Margolles’ work will explore diverse responses to the use of human remains and medical waste as a metaphor for social and political situations. She will explore ideas around the public perception of the display and use of human remains.
Ms Laura Malacart
Diagnosing normality: an autistic perspective on the "Neurotypical" world
Autistic adults often describe ‘normal’ people as ‘neurotypical’. This term indicates how central biomedical science has become to shaping social identity within the autistic community. This project is designed to investigate ‘normalcy’ from the perspective of high functioning autistic adults: how do they experience the neurotypical mindset, socially and perceptually, in everyday interactions? Drawing on cutting edge research in autism spectrum conditions Laura Malacart, and her collaborators will facilitate performance workshops which will be filmed and made into a moving image installation work. The project aspires to contribute to an informed debate on autism and challenge the stereotypical representations which pervade popular media.