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Arts in Mind Festival report launches

The Arts in Mind Festival report showcases last year's week-long celebration of arts and mental health at the IoPPN.

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King’s College London Arts in Mind Festival report was launched last week at an event at Science Gallery London. The event brought together community mental health practitioners and academics from King’s, alongside artists and performers.

The publication celebrates and showcases Arts in Mind Festival, a week-long celebration of arts and mental health at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN). It summarises the many ways in which the event explored health interventions that can improve wellbeing and bring about a better understanding of mental health, the brain and the mind.

Arts in Mind Festival celebrated the 20th anniversary of the IoPPN joining King’s College London through creative collaborations between artists and the Faculty’s world-leading psychiatrists, psychologists and neuroscientists. During the festival, topics as diverse as psychological wellbeing in pregnancy, prolonged tactile deprivation, and aural and visual mood enhancers were explored.

At the Sound Mind concert, which took place at St John the Divine, Kennington, audience members were immersed in the music of Arvo Pärt, John Cage and Terry Riley while viewing psychedelia-inspired visuals through VR headsets, stimulating creativity and wellbeing. Led by addictions and mental health researcher Dr Sally Marlow in collaboration with pianist Christina McMaster and Department of Addictions artist-in-residence Teresa Albor, the project team also held a scratch orchestra workshop in which participants performed Terry’s Riley’s 1964 composition In C.

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

Speaking at the event Professor Patrick Leman said, ‘At King’s and IoPPN the links between arts and science are increasingly open. Arts in Mind Festival is just the start.’

Professor Anthony David, former Vice Dean for Academic Psychiatry at IoPPN and now Director & Sackler Chair of the UCL Institute of Mental Health added, ‘Arts and mind, these two huge concepts, found new ways of talking to each other through Arts in Mind Festival. This report celebrates its tangible and concrete legacy.’

Read about these events and more in the Arts in Mind Festival report and watch a short film celebrating the festival.

At King’s and IoPPN the links between arts and science are increasingly open. Arts in Mind Festival is just the start.– Professor Patrick Leman

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