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Arts in Dentistry showcase highlights artist-academic collaborations

A showcase of collaborations between artists and researchers developed through the university’s Arts, Health and Wellbeing programme took place recently.

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A showcase of collaborations between artists and researchers from the Faculty of Dentistry, Oral & Craniofacial Sciences developed through the university’s Arts in Dentistry programme explored experimental arts-based approaches to the Faculty’s focus of understanding disease, enhancing health and restoring function.

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The event, hosted by the Faculty's Executive Dean, Professor Mike Curtis, and held at the Inigo Rooms at King’s College London, brought together the results of five collaborations between King’s Dentistry academics and researchers, and creatives including artists, performance poets and film-makers.

In panel discussions facilitated by Dr Flora Smyth Zahra, Senior Clinical Teacher and Clinical Humanities Lead at the Faculty of Dentistry, Oral & Craniofacial Sciences, the five teams shared their findings and discussed the impact the collaborations had on their research and artistic practice. Discussions took place in front of an audience of staff, students and external cultural partners who were given the opportunity to ask the panels questions about their work.

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The projects featured were:

Call & Response, a partnership between Tabatha Andrews and Professor Andrea Streit from the Centre for Craniofacial & Regenerative Biology, which explored how cells and people communicate with each other. Images and footage from workshops that explored how ‘bodies’, either cellular or human, respond to sound were exhibited alongside sound extracts which examined hearing loss and changing environments.

Stem Cell Story which saw Dr Rupali Lav and Professor Abigail Tucker from the Centre for Craniofacial & Regenerative Biology team up with performance poet Hayden Cohen. Their project aimed to bring a human element to Regenerative Dentistry and stem cell research through a spoken word animation. A film of workshop participants’ poems was also shown as part of the showcase.

Communicative Musicality showcased the work of artist Dr Christina Lovey and the Department of Population & Patient Health’s Dr Sasha Scambler. Their project explored the rhythmic patterns present in dentists’ communications through the notion of communicative musicality. Christina interpreted the interviews Sasha conducted with dentists through five tap dances and the audience were asked to provide feedback on how they perceived the tone of each interview.

360 Patient Care,  a film which aims to help the viewer see the world from the point-of-view of a disabled person, to better understand the challenges facing disabled patients when accessing clinical environments. It was developed by filmmaker Paulette Caletti, Too Right Films/Prettybird, along with Dr Bryan Kerr from the Department of Sedation & Special Care Dentistry. Audience members could fully immerse themselves in a first person perspective of a disabled person’s experience by watching the film through Virtual Reality headsets.

A Dry and Silent World by visual artist Emma Barnard with Professor Abigail Tucker alongside from the Centre for Craniofacial & Regenerative Biology, alongside Dr Mona Mozaffari and Dr Tathyane Teshima. The work aimed to raise awareness of the hidden nature of hearing loss and dry mouth among vulnerable patient groups through 3D printing of the affected organs and photography.

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