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Durham University

Department of Geography

Staff Profile

Publication details

Atkinson, S. & Rubidge, T. Managing the spatialities of arts-based practices with school children: an inter-disciplinary exploration of engagement, movement and well-being. Arts & Health. 2013;5:39-50.

Author(s) from Durham


Background and aims: The article aims to provoke new pathways within arts and health research that engage with the spatialities of arts-based interventions for building social and emotional well-being. We adopt an understanding of social and emotional well-being as a situated and relational effect rather than an individually acquired attribute. Methods: A social scientist and a choreographer both accompanied a mask-making workshop for exploring identity and body language with children aged 5 and 6 at a primary school in the North of England. Results: The collaboration generated an alternative emphasis on movement, rather than behaviour, as the focus of managing spatialities. Conclusions: The arts practitioner has to facilitate a balance of movements that, within the intended practices of the session, can be categorised as controlled, uncontrolled and improvised. This attention to movement enables a versatile conceptualisation of social and emotional well-being that is still situated and relational but also expressive of habituation and improvisation.