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About this Event


Provocative ideas for interdisciplinary thinking

The Green Brain, RMIT University City Campus

Building 16, Level 7, Swanston Street
4 November 2019, 1:30-4pm

Register for this free event here!


An aesthetic of knowledge translation: Highlighting pockets of brilliance in health care via installation art

Professor Katherine Boydell

This presentation focuses on the co-creation of the HIVE, an art installation that aims to share the work of a large translational research centre in a way that engages the public imagination, highlights qualities of accessibility, inclusion, audience engagement, and socio-political commitment. An artists-in-residence program is described wherein artists collaborated with academics, health professionals, consumers of health services, and carers who were associated with eight exemplary research initiatives. Together, they explored how art can be used to communicate complex community and social issues, such as the wellbeing of children from refugee backgrounds, healthy urban environments, palliative care, and mental health and addiction. Each project featured in the HIVE draws on different art forms – from textiles and sculpture, to poetry and video – highlighting the many ways that the arts can enrich conversations on health(care) and how research can be communicated using visual, performative and literary means. A design thinking workshop informed the evaluation design for the HIVE and findings on audience impact will be highlighted.


People + arts + science: Creating a framework for transdisciplinary research and engagement

Scientia Professor Jill Bennett

In this presentation, Professor Bennett will discuss the work of the transdisciplinary feltExperience & Empathy Lab [fEEL], which combines community engagement with the creative development of Virtual Perception Environments to generate insight into first-personperspectives and the dynamic connections that promote societal empathy. She will present a number of projects currently showing in the Empathy Clinic as part of The Big Anxiety festival, including The Visit (an experience created with women with dementia), Being Debra (an embodied VR perspective on disability), and fEEL’s collaboration with Uti Kulintjaku, an Anangu-led arts-mental health project (also showing at the Dax Centre, Melbourne).

Jill will explicate the methods of fEEL (which draw on socially engaged arts, psychology, phenomenology and psycho-social theory) to develop ‘bottom up’ understandings of lived experience, emotional and mental health and human distress. She will also discuss the aligned role of The Big Anxiety <> in promoting new forms of engagement. Those interested in a more in-depth engagement are encouraged to try out the web-based app developed for The Empathy Clinic.



Professor Katherine Boydell is Head of the AKT (arts-based knowledge translation) Lab at the Black Dog Institute, University of New South Wales. She has dedicated her career to exploring, in a participatory manner, the lived experience of individuals experiencing mental health issues. Her participatory, collaborative program of research uses the arts, broadly defined, in the research creation and dissemination process. Katherine uses installation art as a knowledge translation strategy which has resulted in increased mental health literacy, decreased stigma and enhanced help seeking. She has published more than 200 articles and book chapters and is editing a forthcoming book Body Mapping in Research.

Katherine is the Mental Health Lead for The Big Anxiety: Art + Science + People in 2017, which attracted 140,000 individuals from around the world to engage in exhibits, workshops, and immersive experiences and start conversations about mental health.

Scientia Professor Jill Bennett is an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), where she is also Founding Director of the National Institute for Experimental Arts, and Founding Director of The Big Anxiety – festival of people + arts + science. Jill is a theorist, curator, engagement designer and immersive media producer, whose work includes arts-science collaborations, particularly at the intersection of trauma studies, psychology and mental health. She has worked extensively in the areas of trauma and memory loss and in 2017 launched The Big Anxiety, which was awarded Best New Event at the Australian Event Awards in 2018.

Jill’s Laureate lab, fEEL (feltExperience & Empathy Lab) employs artists and psychologists collaborating on psychosocial research on the subjective experience of mental health and ageing, developing immersive media to promote perspective sharing, and methods for cultivating empathy. Her books include Empathic Vision and Practical Aesthetics, as well as monographs on media arts, curating and its social impact.

This HASH Network event is convened by Renata Kokanović and Jacinthe Flore. HASH is generously supported by the Social Change and Design and Creative Practice ECPs at RMIT University.

By Published On: October 9, 2019Categories: Events, Past Events

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