“There’s no lights on the Xmas tree momma, they’re burnin’ an artist tonight!”

Powerful thoughts from Mike White about ridiculous report in The Independent criticising (really quite minimal) spending on art in hospitals. Obviously, because I’m working as a curator in an NHS trust, I may appear to have vested interests. Nonetheless, Mike’s response is important.

Centre for Medical Humanities Blog

Mike White writes: There was a hatchet job in Sunday’s Independent on arts in hospitals based on perfunctory information extracted on NHS expenditure on art works (accessible here). Those of us who are driving the development of the National Alliance for Arts and Health are deliberating whether to make a response as the piece appears at a time when an all-party parliamentary group is being established in Westminster to consider the place and purpose of arts in health. In my view we should let this article lie (literally?) as the media hack’s angle on arts and healthcare is invariably obtuse, out to expunge aesthetics from the hospital league tables in favour of ‘patient choice’. Substitutional service expenditure on ‘what really matters’ in the NHS is put forward without the caveat that most hospital art works are funded from external sources and capital budgets. So believe what we read and…

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Beyond evidence: theorising arts and health (ESRC Seminar, Glasgow University, 24 April 2014)

Good to see some alternative thoughts about arts, health and incessant ‘evidence-based’ debate…

Centre for Medical Humanities Blog

Beyond evidence:  theorising arts and health
ESRC Seminar 24 April 2014
Glasgow University

In a deliberately provocative intervention to the emerging health-and-arts field, this day seminar engages social theoretical resources in order to help elaborate how researchers and practitioners might experiment epistemologically in ways that encourage a movement ‘beyond scientism’ and recycled debates about evidence. 4  speakers will use their work to speculate around the following thematics which traverse the day:

  • ‘Rights to experiment’: understanding arts impacts through ideas of justice rather than collection of evidence
  • ‘Working at boundaries of evidence’: the role of phenomenologies of artistic practice and sensings of the arts
  • ‘Epistemologies and artistic cultures’: questioning what happens as ways of thinking merge with artistic practice

We intend the presentations to prompt discussions about how different kinds of art, artists, researchers, bodies and capacities are enlivened through new relationships which the arts-in-health field might hold…

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