Chaos Project Academic Paper

Braund, Stephen and Waldron, Hannah (2019) Chaos Project Academic Paper. In: Illustrating Mental Health: Illustration Research Symposium and Exhibition, November 8th and 9th 2019, The Art House, Castle Street, University of Worcester. (Submitted)

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Text (Academic paper delivered at Worcester Illustration Research Conference)
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Abstract / Summary

This academic paper, delivered at the Illustration Research Conference at the University of Worcester (8th & 9th Nov, 2019), draws upon a year-long collaborative project where Authorial Illustration MA students worked with participants of social services organisation and mental health care provider Chaos Group in the co-creation of a publication, whereby the aims were to communicate the journey of those experiencing mental health issues and the efficacy of illustration in promoting wellbeing. The resulting book, CHAOS, a Co-Creation was published in September 2019.

The presentation will describe the experience and outcomes of working in the co-creation mode, through an action research methodology. At the heart of the project has been the concept of shared creative process, a ‘thinking-through-making’ in which weekly collaborative creative sessions allow each of the participants’ individual voices to emerge and feel empowered through the gradual encouragement to author personal stories. Alongside the fostering of individual authorial voices through illustration, our presentation will describe how through a non-hierarchical, co-creation process, we witnessed a collective empowerment. We will discuss how this can act as a significant tool in the rebalancing of power for those with mental health issues who often feel disempowered. We will highlight the factors that were instrumental in this, including the gradual building of trust, skills-sharing, the act of listening and use of play.

Our direct collaborative practice engagement will be supported by drawing upon the recent research initiative Co-Creation publication (France), and with reference to a paper entitled Co-designing non-hierarchical community arts research: the collaborative stories spiral, and furthermore by Jerome Bruner’s social psychology research Life As Narrative, into the power of narrative in constructing a ‘reality’. As Bruner states: ‘There seems indeed to be some sense in which narrative, rather than referring to “reality” may in fact create or constitute it, as when “fiction” creates a “world” of its own: empowering each individual to author their own life-story.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: mental health;
Subjects: Arts > Illustration
Courses by Department: The Falmouth School of Art > Illustration
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Steve Braund
Date Deposited: 11 Nov 2019 13:44
Last Modified: 26 Feb 2020 16:23
URI: http://repository.falmouth.ac.uk/id/eprint/3536

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