Psychology Colloquium: Prof Katherine Boydell (Black Dog Institute, University of New South Wales)
Black Dog Institute, University of New South Wales
Title: Using art to promote pockets of research brilliance in health
Abstract: Arts-informed dissemination is an approach to enhancing knowledge translation in health sciences. Discourse on mental health(care) is plagued with references to issues/gaps. Media reports, empirical studies, and literature reviews focus on what is wrong, much to the neglect of what is right. Yet, evidence and anecdote suggest that, despite challenges that hinder health care, brilliance happens! To redress this imbalance, we collaborated with practitioners, scholars, and artists to use art to promote and understand pockets of brilliance within the health system.
We invited practitioners and scholars to identify pockets of brilliance within their workplace and clarify why it was brilliant. We then enlisted artists to work with them to transform these pockets into art. Reflecting varied talents, artists used textiles, sculpture, photography, imagery, and words to epitomise brilliance. During this process, we facilitated workshops, inviting practitioners, scholars, and artists to co-design these artworks with consumers and carers. We also captured artefacts via notes, diaries, and recordings.
Findings suggest that art can promote experiences that are inspiring, enriching, and difficult to articulate. This study suggests using art to epitomise brilliance can be propelled by: a clear focus on positivity that respectfully addresses challenges; regular dialogue to foster psychological safety; and positive deviance, whereby participants exercise initiative to challenge business-as-usual and trial innovative approaches.