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Prickly health meets fine art at the first UCL Arts in Health Awards

Publication date: Feb 24, 2006 4:57:16 PM

Stylish cactus hats, a heart of reeds, perceptions of pain and how to cope with your asthma aged five – all are themes from the winning pieces of a new competition launched by University College London (UCL)’s Centre for Medical Humanities and the Slade School of Fine Art.

Tessa Jowell, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport and Malcolm Grant, Provost and President of UCL, will present four winners with their UCL Arts in Health Awards on Tuesday 14 September 2004 at an evening ceremony in London.

Wendy Teall’s “Crowning Glories” is an exhibition of hats based on different types of cacti, where the cactus is a metaphor for how people with mental health problems may be perceived – a prickly exterior representing stigma with a soft interior of vulnerability.

“Perceptions of Pain” by Deborah Padfield is a collection of photos reflecting unique experiences of pain. The photos were taken with chronic pain patients attending pain management programmes.

Chris Drury’s series, “Systems in the Body, Landscape and Planet”, combines medical images of echocardiograms, fingerprints and cross-sections of the heart with patterns of water, land and reeds.

“My Cat Makes Me Wheeze” by Nicola Thomas is an illustrated book for children aged 5 to 8 living with asthma, excema and hay fever. The book explains symptoms and treatments and is published in English and Bengali.

The UCL Arts in Health Awards, co-sponsored by the Arts Council England, the Royal College of Physicians and the National Network for the Arts in Health, aims to promote the powerful role of arts in health and well-being.

The awards ceremony coincides with UCL’s 5th Annual International Medical Humanities Conference, “The Healing Humanities: Contextualising and Conceptualising Medicine”, which will take place in London on the 14 and 15 September.

Notes for Editors

Photos of the winning pieces are available from the UCL Media Relations Office.

For more information or to register for the ceremony, please contact Jenny Gimpel at the UCL Media Relations Office on 020 7679 9739, mobile 07990 675 947, e-mail j.gimpel@ucl.ac.uk.

The award ceremony will take place from 7pm to 9pm on Tuesday 14th September 2004 at the Locarno Suite of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Winners’ and shortlisted artwork will be on electronic display at the ceremony.

This is the first year of the UCL Arts in Health Awards. Wendy Teall, Deborah Padfield and Chris Drury win the Professional Category Award, while Nicola Thomas wins the Student Category Award.

For more information about the competition please visit http://www.pcps.ucl.ac.uk/cmh/artsinhealth.htm