in-between-ness: using art to capture a sense of self

6 Sep 2013 – 4 Nov 2013

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An exhibition of paintings, film stills and moving image by contemporary artists Karen Heald and Susan Liggett, and the participants in their research project into the experiential effects of antidepressant treatment.


The exhibition brings together the artists' individual and collaborative artworks exploring notions of in-between-ness, alongside the participants' artworks, with the aim of engaging the audience in an immersive experience of their research. The term in-between-ness originates from Karen's dream films that create ambient environments, where the audience is unsure as to whether one is asleep, awake, or even in a state of in-between-ness. Karen identifies in-between-ness in her dream films that are representations of the ephemeral and transitional spaces of the mind: the imaginary, states between wakefulness and sleep, reverie, the unconscious and layers of consciousness, such as that of the creative or the depressive and psychotic who travels between several time zones simultaneously. Through painterly, poetic non-linear video narratives, these transitional spaces are played out. For Susan it is within the intervals of her painting that she begins to contemplate in-between-ness, in the hesitation of the brush marks and the reliability of her memory when painting from photographs. Her memories do not simply recall events, but reside in-between the past and the present in a fragmentary space akin to Heald's dream spaces. The work investigates the sense of joy and loss, and the emotions one has whilst journeying in the past when looking through family photographs. More broadly the in-between-ness research project is an innovative art/science exploration of the effect that art has on the way that people express themselves and respond to their environment whilst undergoing treatment for mental health problems. It is a collaboration between professional artists, clinical researchers and people suffering from depression and explores the ‘sense of self' brought about by engagement in the creative process.


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