Durham University

Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing

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Centre for Medical Humanities presentation 'Thinking Inside the Box', a presentation on arts development and community health by Alison Clough, Creative Director, Pioneer Projects

27th May 2010, 17:30 to 20:00, The Horsfall Room, St. Chad’s College, Durham University


Alison Clough is the Creative Director and founder of the acclaimed arts and health charity, Pioneer Projects, in North Yorkshire. 'Thinking inside the box' charts her journey as an innovative artist working in community health since the 1980s. Alison was the artist who initiated the first community lantern processions in the UK with Welfare State Theatre Company, and she was the first community artist to undertake health promotion work in primary care settings.

In 1997 Alison set up the healthy living centre Looking Well at Bentham in North Yorkshire on a shoe-string budget, and has since raised over £1 million to develop a permanent facility. Looking Well was envisioned to provide an informal community space where arts, health promotion and lifelong learning programmes could come together in a setting designed to promote a positive disposition, build confidence and skills, and enable people to support each other and solve problems together. Domestic in feel, scale and furnishings, it offers a congenial space with the atmosphere of a well-functioning extended family developing supportive arts activities out of its own health needs assessments. The Looking Well initiative has dared to think long-term and to nurture the personal development of its participants. Important to its life-cycle approach is engaging parents with children in all creative activities and connecting children with older people.

As a 2008 recipient of Western Australia’s Healthway International Arts in Health Fellowship, Alison worked with indigenous communities, notably exploring issues around diabetes for the Western Desert Kidney Health Project. In 2009, Alison was awarded Australia’s first International Artist Award in Arts and Health.

This event commences at 17:30 followed by wine and canapés.

Contact jacqueline.pankhurst@durham.ac.uk for more information about this event.

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