What is 'Wellbeing' and How Does it Relate to The Centre?
The word 'wellbeing' descends from the Greek 'eudaimonia', which could be translated as 'well-spirited' or 'welfare'. It can include what we might today call health but encompasses a much wider concept.
Wellbeing is considered a process, however there is difficulty locating an end point. The process of living involves encountering obstacles and apparent difficulties handling these. One does not arrive at a point of wellness and live in a sterile environment to retain it.
The arts can be viewed as part of the 'process of being' used to deal with disease (lack of ease of harmony) on physical, psychological and spiritual levels. Not necessarily avoiding disease but going through it and using the arts as a tool for this journey. This usage may be through active engagement, or listening and watching others. By both doing and watching we disband senses of being alone in our journey and gain tools or insights from others.
The Centre for the Arts as Wellbeing is concerned with restoring a wider sense of value for the arts in the context of promoting wellbeing in individuals, communities, and the environment.
It involves seeing the arts in a healing context, knowing how other cultures have used the arts as a rebalancing tool, looking at and valuing the work of arts therapists, seeing the arts in wider contexts than the concert hall or theatre and exploring new ideas for their relevance to the wider society.
The Aims of the Centre
The centre aims to research and advocate, through knowledge exchange and consultancy, the development of projects in the performing arts and wellbeing.
This includes the relationship between the individual and the wider society and embraces the social, spiritual and political aspects of well-being and the effect of the inculcation of societal values on the individual.
These will include:
- · Exploring the psychological and political effects / implications of artistic practice
- · Interrogating definitions of spirituality and the interface between artistic practice and people's spiritual experience
- · Analysing how contextual issues affect the potentially transformative effects of artistic practice
- · Encouraging and initiating projects in this area including performances and consultancies
- · While there is scope for collaboration with other research centres this centre concentrates on contextualised performing arts practice that is consciously related to wellbeing, personal, social and environmental
Areas of Study
The 5 areas of study are:
Concerned with encouraging, initiating and reflecting on projects in the area of the arts as wellbeing, including working within education contexts, and with hard to reach and marginalised people.
Engaged with critical debates around the interaction of body, technology and the environment.
Engaged with the place of holistic movement strategies in personal identity.
Engaged in the exploration of the relationship between the spiritual experience and the artistic experience.
Music Research Institute
Aims to advance an appreciation of the beneficial role that music can play in the enhancement of human experience.
The centre welcomes research students and has students working in the following areas:
- · Music with asylum seekers and refugees
- · Mindfulness and the arts
- · Drama for development
- · Somatic dance
- · Community arts and education
- · Practice as research, particularly identity construction through performance practice