L to R: Simon Furneaux, Emma Furneaux, Vicky Charnock, Clive Parkinson, Lindsey Fryer, Jane Ratcliffe, Vic McEwan
The photograph above was taken at The Tate, Liverpool following a public forum given by Vic McEwan and Clive Parkinson. During this event, Vic and Clive shared the work of The Harmonic Oscillator and Vic gave a performance creating music by playing a hospital bed with a cello bow.
Following the forum, the questions went on for well over an hour as the diverse audience contributed thoughts, reactions and opinions in what ended up being a conversation so rich that in the end we had to cut it short as all of the time we had in the space had run out.
This picture features just some of the people who have contributed to The Harmonic Oscillator. What makes it so special is the diversity of people featured and the fact that although they had just finished a long forum of speaking about illness, death, and what it means to be human in a clinical setting, the smiles on everyone's faces are obvious and genuine.
In the photo we have Emma Furneaux, mother of Elisha Carter, whom Vic collaborated with right up until the time of her passing. We have Head Clinician Jane Ratcliffe, who was instrumental in supporting this project and allowing the almost unprecedented access that Vic McEwan had within the critical areas of the hospital. Vicky Charnock, a key element of this project who worked with Vic during his many residencies at Alder Hey. Lindsey Fryer from The Tate who gave this project so much support and is doing great work in showing work of a socially engaged nature within the institution of The Tate. And then we have Clive and Vic, whom you can read about below.
Other people to thank include : Peter White, Sarah McEwan, Michael Petchkovsky, Gay Campbell, Caitlin Overton, Trev Collict, ..........
Vic McEwan is a contemporary artist whose practice is based on the underlying philosophy that in order to practically navigate complex issues, we must first learn to navigate them emotionally. Believing contemporary arts practice to be the perfect medium with which to undertake this navigation, Vic aims to use his work to contribute to and enrich broader conversations about the role that the arts sector can play within our communities.
As the Artistic Director and founder of The Cad Factory, Vic has led a regionally based arts organisation to work with over 1000 artists to an audience of over 70,000 people and delivered over 200 workshops. The organisation's vision statement reflects the importance of ethics in Vic’s practice.
The Cad Factory is an artist led organisation creating an international program of new, immersive and experimental work guided by authentic exchange, ethical principles, people and place.
Vic’s artistic practice involves working with sound, video, installation and performance with a particular interest in site-specific work. He is interested in creating new dynamics by working with diverse partners such as health, business, environment, and education, and exploring difficult themes within the lived experience of communities and localities.
Collaborating with communities to understand place through an exploration of contemporary arts practice, past projects have explored complex realities such as ongoing tensions around water management in the Murray Darling Basin system, Indigenous and non-indigenous relations within regional locations, youth incarceration, suicide, gender imbalance, and changing climate.
Vic was the 2015 Artist in Residence at the National Museum of Australia and the recipient of the Inaugural Arts NSW Regional Fellowship 2014/16. He has shared his work internationally in the UK (Tate Liverpool), Lithuania (National Gallery of Lithuania) and Australia (The Big Anxiety Festival).
Vic sits on the NSW/ACT Arts and Health State Leadership Group, is a board member of Music NSW, holds a Masters of Arts Practice with High Distinction and a 1st Class Honours of Creative Practice (Fine Arts).
Clive Parkinson is the Director of Arts for Health and the Manchester Institute for Arts, Health & Social Change. A leading figure in the international arts and health field, he has worked in a number of countries exploring social arts practice and the arts and health agenda in terms of inequalities and social injustice. He was a founding member of the National Alliance for Arts, Health and Wellbeing in the UK, which recently became the Culture, Health & Wellbeing Alliance.
His research interests are varied and for the last three years he was co-investigator on the Dementia & Imagination research project exploring the links between the visual arts, wellbeing and sense of community for people living with dementia. His handbook, Research Informed Approaches to Visual Arts Programmes, has informed artists training which he is currently co-facilitating in the UK.
A staunch advocate for social change he has been closely involved with substance recovery communities and is author of the Recoverist Manifesto which he created with people in the UK, Italy, and Turkey. He is currently working with artists and academics in Japan on arts and health research development. He is a frequent visitor to Australia where he has spoken at a number of events including the Art of Good Health & Wellbeing International Conferences and more recently was keynote speaker at ARTLANDS Dubbo (2016) and was a commissioned artist at the Big Anxiety Festival (2017).
Over 2018/19 he is developing new work exploring difficult conversations around suicide and how we might develop deeper empathy with people affected, to humanise and affect social change. This arts-led research project will open up wider public debate in Australia, Japan, Lithuania and the UK. Clive regularly blogs HERE.
Inequalities and social justice are central to his thinking and his current research scrutinizes the art sector's slavish adherence to reductive methods of understanding its own value. Clive regularly blogs here.
Manchester Metropolitan University Webpage
Link to Dementia and Imagination handbook
Link to Recoverist Manifesto
Link to ARTLANDS
Link to The Big Anxiety Festival
Vicky Charnock has worked as Arts Coordinator at Alder Hey Children's Hospital, Liverpool since 2006, where she has pioneered a nationally recognised programme which has been at the forefront of innovative practices within the arts for health sector. The programme includes the Cultural Champions partnership programme, working with the leading arts organisations within Merseyside to develop and deliver an ambitious patient-centred arts programme.
She has also developed an innovative mentoring programme between arts and health professionals, and has a number of research specialisms such as the exploration of the effect of dance and movement upon pain tolerance. Alder Hey's Arts for Health programme was recently awarded a prestigious NHS England Excellence in Participation Award: Children and Young People.