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Durham University

Department of Geography

Staff Profile

Publication details

Atkinson, S. & Robson, M. Arts and health as a practice of liminality: managing the spaces of transformation for social and emotional wellbeing with primary school children. Health & Place. 2012;18:1348-1355.

Author(s) from Durham


Intervention to enhance wellbeing through participation in the creative arts has a transformative potential, but the spatialities to this are poorly theorised. The paper examines arts-based interventions in two primary schools in which small groups of children are taken out of their everyday classrooms to participate in weekly sessions. The paper argues that such intervention is usefully seen as a practice of liminality, a distinct time and space that needs careful management to realise a transformative potential. Such management involves negotiating multiple sources of tension to balance different modes of power, forms of art practices and permeability of the liminal time-space.