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Arts in Mind

Arts in Mind, a week-long festival of arts and mental health at King’s College London’s Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN), showcased work that explores new ways to improve wellbeing and bring about a better understanding of mental health, the brain and the mind.

Over recent years, researchers within King’s medical faculties have been engaged in a number of collaborations with artists and cultural organisations through an Arts in Health programme facilitated by the university’s central Culture team.

These collaborations were brought to life by the Arts in Mind Festival 2018, which featured more than 40 exhibitions, performances and screenings showcasing creative collaborations between artists and the IoPPN’s world-leading psychiatrists, psychologists and neuroscientists.

During the festival, a diverse range of topics from psychological wellbeing in pregnancy to music and images as mood enhancers were explored. In Sound Mind, which took place at St John the Divine Church in Kennington, audience members were immersed in the music of Pärt, Cage and Riley while viewing psychedelia-inspired visuals through VR headsets,  stimulating creativity and wellbeing.

One audience member who took part in the MagicCarpet event said, ‘I’ve always been aware that the way my head works  is not run-of-the-mill. My mind races and I have lots of ideas at once. The opportunity this evening to meet other people and talk to them about how their thoughts and mental processes work was really quite comforting.’

The shared experience of living in the capital was explored in a presentation on Urban Mind, an innovative smartphone app that encourages users to record how their mental state is affected by living in the city. Other highlight events included Cerebral City, exploring the affinities between the structure of the brain and the London landscape, and My Memory Forest, a story-reading and art session for children.

Through its one-off events, open discussions and family workshops, Arts in Mind sought to draw local communities into  King’s, connecting Londoners with the work of the IoPPN and encouraging them to actively engage with the research going on in their local university.

We are located within diverse thriving communities in one of the world's great cities and we’ve really tried hard to make sure that we can involve the local community …[in this] collaboration between arts and mental health.– Professor Patrick Leman, Dean of Education, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience

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