Sunday, 25 March 2012

Fur Coat and No Knickers, The BOMB, an International Arts and Health Conference and The Queen...

It's Olympic year, and as the UK gears up for the 'ultimate national well-being campaign' and we invest millions of pounds in sports and culture, we are constantly told that the arts are a force for good, nurturing civic pride and engendering happiness. But is the drive for happiness in danger of skewing our understanding of well-being, and whilst we lavish money on the Olympics in a time of global austerity, some of us question the prescription of culture for happiness - aren't the arts more than that? 

And if they offer something more than a quick-hit, how is it that the quality of life of our older citizens is often institutionally neglected; worse still, those affected by dementia are relegated to 'warehouses of the dying'? This essay explores the relationship between art in the public realm and well-being. Clive Parkinson investigates public art's sometimes superficiality and its occasional potential to question societal norms, with blistering potency.
Read the paper by clicking on the image below:

Society for the Arts in Healthcare's
23rd Annual International Conference
Hosted by Children's Hospital of Michigan 
May 2-5, 2012 Detroit, Michigan, USA 
Experience the opportunity to immerse yourself in arts & health; best practices, model programs, and cutting-edge research. Click on image below.

Combining a poetic text and a bold, electrifying score for voice and sound, Autobiographer draws us into Flora’s slowly unravelling mind. In a tender and lyrical performance, fragments of stories and pulses of memory build layer upon layer into a curious, evocative portrait of a life refracted through the lens of dementia.

more details @  

As our Arts/Health agenda comes of age, our work is increasingly being seen as more than addressing morbidity in the individual. This is illustrated perfectly by the environmental, social and political health issues tackled by Tricycle Theatre in,  The Bomb, a partial history (in two parts)...

For those of you who missed the feverish bunting waving across Manchester on Friday, you may not have noticed we had a Queen in town. Not Russell Grant but Elizabeth herself, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, when she opened Royal Manchester Children's Hospital, Manchester Royal Eye Hospital, Saint Mary's Hospital and a new wing at Manchester Royal Infirmary. The work of our colleagues at LIME featured heavily on this visit. The Queen unveiled the Lime commissioned glass designs by artist Martin Donlin.
Patients and staff at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, musicians from the Royal Northern College of Music, (RNCM) Music for Health programme and artist Dawn Prescott from LIME also collaborated to create Diamonds, feathers and saxophones – from the Children’s Hospital, a new composition for The Queen.

Steven Jackson, who graduated from the RNCM last year, then incorporated the children’s rhythms, textures and shapes within the music he has written, and Dawn used their pictures and sculptures in the design of a book, containing the score and beautifully bound by Artisan Bookbinder Andrew Brown, which was presented to The Queen during her visit.  The final one-minute piece was performed to the monarch by the RNCM’s Absolution Saxophone Quartet: Anthony Brown, Jennifer Palfreyman, Spencer Moran and Fraser Johnstone.


  1. off with his head! Ha ha! Thanks Clive, another brilliant blog update!