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Artists in Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience

Teresa Albor in the Department of Addictions

Teresa Albor is an artist-in-residence at King’s. Working in collaboration with Dr Sally Marlow, Public Engagement Fellow and Professor Sir John Strang, Professor of Addictions, Teresa will be resident in the Department of Addictions on a project exploring the administration of Naloxone, an antidote to heroin overdose, by family members of those who use heroin.

Unconditional

Unconditional is a project exploring the role Naloxone plays in families of opioid users, particularly how the idea of unconditional love is illuminated by the administration of Naloxone by families of those using heroin. Naloxone is an antidote to heroin overdose and can be safely and easily administered by friends and family of the heroin user. Nearly all Heroin-related deaths are potentially preventable through the administration of Naloxone and a recent study found that 20% of overdose rescues were carried out by family members.

Professor Sir John Strang has pioneered research into the use of Naloxone. Over the past 20 years, he and his team have demonstrated that Naloxone is safe, effective, and crucially saves lives, and are currently supporting the United Nations and the World Health Organisation. Recognising that innovative ways are needed to engage the public with some of the key findings from the Department of Addictions, together John and Sally have been working on strategies to increase patient and public involvement in Naloxone research, to increase the numbers of carers receiving training in Naloxone administration and to bring the evidence to policy makers worldwide. The Unconditional project presents an opportunity to enhance existing work in media and policy arenas, by finding a different way to tell the complex Naloxone story through the arts, sharing stories from the perspectives not just of the opioid users, but also of their families. 

TeresaAlbor1

Pictured: Naloxone - an antidote to heroin overdose.

Teresa will create a series of research-based art projects which will be produced in collaboration with the Department of Addictions and families supported by the charity Adfam. Teresa will audio and video record and transcribe conversations with these families, keep a journal and ask families to do the same. She will work with family groups to create photographic self-portraits. She intends to use this material in a variety of ways, including producing a sound/video/visual installation. 

The research-led approach proposed will lead to new lines of enquiry and the creative outputs will materialise as the collaboration and the process unfold. The emphasis is on the exploration of the subject, and the outputs will be documentation of this process. Teresa explains: ‘For me, artistic research and learning, as well as opening oneself to situations, questions, and stories, can be seen as the central aspect of my work. Unconditional is an opportunity to take this even a step further, by working with families, clinicians and scientists, as well as drawing on my own experiences with unconditional love.’

Project team

Teresa Albor is a multidisciplinary artist, with a studio practice, based in London. Her work is research-based and often involves broad collaboration. It can involve video/moving image, performance, installation, publication, community-based workshops, and forms of artist-led curation.

Teresa has worked with highly stigmatised groups, most recently refugees, but previously with offenders, including a year working on the issue of women in prison in the USA. This latter boy of work resulted in a 10,000 word piece published in the US magazine The Nation, which can be read here.

Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, with recent projects including the performance Solidarity not charity, The things we leave behind presented in Peckham, London in March 2017, a performative presentation at the Sacred Places Conference in Liverpool in April 2017, and in June 2017, NO MORE MISS AMERICA at the Golden Key, Prague, performed with the Rude and Unruly Women collective.

More information about Teresa’s work can be found on her website.

Dr Sally Marlow is a Public Engagement Fellow based in the Department of Addictions at King’s, where she is responsible for initiating, developing and delivering media and public engagement initiatives, and artistic collaborations, to support the strategic direction of the Additions Department, and the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience and King’s College London more widely.  She is also a BBC Broadcaster, and has developed and presented several documentaries for BBC Radio 3, Radio 4 and the World Service, and has appeared as a commentator for numerous BBC television and radio programmes.  She works as an advisor on several BBC documentary and drama shows, and is Associate Editor for Culture at The Psychologist.

Sally has a research portfolio, and her interests include addiction and its links to mental health, particularly in women; mental health issues in children and adolescents; and how the arts can contribute to addiction and mental health in innovative ways. More information about Sally’s research can be found here.

Professor Sir John Strang is Head of the Addictions Department and is also Leader of the Addictions CAG (Clinical Academic Group) of Kings Health Partners AHSC (Academic Health Science Centre). He also has extensive experience as a Lead Clinician in charge of a wide range of treatments in community and residential settings and has been a Consultant Psychiatrist in addictions treatment for over 30 years.

John has chaired and/or served on key committees or guidelines groups for the Department of Health, for NICE (the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence) and for the World Health Organisation (WHO). As well as this, John is one of only six senior addictions researchers outside North America identified by the Institute for Scientific Analysis (ISI) as a ‘Highly Cited Author’ with a rate of citation in the ‘top one half of one percent of all publishing researchers in the last two decades’.

He has published over 500 papers and chapters in the addictions field, and has co-authored or co-edited about a dozen books or key reports. Current research interests include: new analyses of impact of public policy, potential approaches involving family members and take-home emergency naloxone to prevent heroin-overdose deaths and incentive-based interventions to improve treatment effectiveness in reducing drug use and associated harms. A full publication list can be found on his research portal here.

Additional partners

Rebecca McDonald is a third-year PhD student working in the Department of Addictions under the supervision of Professor Sir John Strang and Professor David Taylor, Department of Pharmacy. Her doctoral research examines novel injection-free Naloxone formulations for the prevention of opiate overdose deaths. During her PhD studies Rebecca has been working alongside Professor Sir John Strang as a consultant on take-home Naloxone to the United Nations and World Health Organisation.

Professor Michael Lynskey is the Education Lead and Professor of Addictions for the Department of Addictions. Professor Lynskey will be involved in the creation of a workshop for MSc and PhD students in the Department to learn about cultural collaborations, using the residency as a case study.

Adfam is the national charity working to improve life for families affected by drugs and alcohol.  

About King’s Artists

King’s artist-in-residence programme supports opportunities for artists to work and collaborate with faculties across the university. The programme establishes artist residencies that inspire collaboration with students and staff across disciplines to embrace creativity and take risks, developing new thinking and creative outputs.

During the 17/18 academic year, Cultural Programming at King’s is supporting five new residencies, three within Arts & Sciences and two in the Health Faculties, with a fourth residency within the Arts & Sciences receiving support directly from the Faculty of Natural & Mathematical Sciences. Outcomes from these six residencies will be showcased in the upcoming academic year and beyond, within the public facing programme across King’s.

More information about the programme and artists-in-residence at King’s can be found on the King’s Artists webpage.

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