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Tan, KS., 2018.

Wandering Minds: participatory art activity / speed dating

Output Type:Other form of assessable output
Venue:South London Gallery
Publisher:South London Gallery, South London Gallery
Dates:5/6/2018 - 5/6/2018
URL:www.southlondongallery.org/events/magic-carpet

OVERVIEW: This was an engaging evening of speed dating across disciplines, backgrounds, age and our rich and varied understandings of our different kinds of minds and brains. Kai curated a 'speed dating' style discussions with experts in the arts and the human mind, exploring mind wandering, neurodiversity, the creative process and Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). We were joined by the community's young people aged 14-21 who call themselves 'Art Assassins'. Our guests were: Professor of Psychiatry and adult ADHD expert Philip Asherson (Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre SGDP); arts: Dr Cecilia Wee (Artsadmin); live art: Dr Daniel Oliver (Queen Mary University of London),  ADHD: Consultant Dr Ulrich Müller and UKAAN Committee Member Jane Sedgwick, and visual art: Dr Kai Syng Tan. The evening was part of the award-winning art-psychiatry commission #MagicCarpet (2017-2019). This took place at the South London Gallery (founded in 1891) on 5 June 2018, as part of the Arts in Mind Festival of the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience (IoPPN). The evening began with the launch of a short film, Of Wanderings and Meanderings (Official Selection, Arts and Humanities Research Council AHRC Film Award 2019), directed by Kai.

REVIEWS: 100% of the feedback was positive. They included: 'So good to have had intergenerational conversations. Informative + surprising. It was a mind opening experience'. 'Beautiful experience'. 'Very fun & engaging! Talking with strangers is nice:)'. 'Helped me talk to others, I am normally an introvert who watches'. Says Kai's mentor and collaborator Professor Philip Asherson: 'It was great talking to the young people. They really treasured their art. I met a young man doing photography GCSE - street pics of Peckham. He seemed really ambitious and working hard. It was great fun to talk to him'.

MEDIA: The event was covered in South London Press, and reviewed in Arts in Mind in The Psychologist (The British Psychological Society), 31, pp.68-69, by participant Sushank Chibber, in an article by Dr Sally Marlow, Public Engagement Fellow at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN), King's College London. Kai was also interviewed on Resonance FM.

ARTS IN MIND: Arts in Mind was a week-long festival (June 4-10, 2018) celebrating innovative collaborations between researchers at the IoPPN, and the creative and cultural sector. It showcased work that explores new ways to improve wellbeing and facilitate a better understanding of mental health, the brain and the mind. The creative producer was Ruth Garde, who previously worked at the Wellcome Trust for 16 years.

#MAGICCARPET in ARTS IN MIND: Tan's 1.5 year Arts Council England funded Unlimited commission, #MagicCarpet, took part in the Arts in Mind Festival in 4 ways: 

1) 3-week long exhibition of the tapestry art (2.9mX1.45m) on bespoke 'invisible loom' designed by the women-run Studio LW Furniture, at the IoPPN. 

2) 'Speed-dating'  South London Gallery. Members of the public 'speed-dated' experts in the arts and mind: Professor of Psychiatry and adult ADHD expert Philip Asherson (Social, Genetic and developmental Psychiatry Centre SGDP); arts: Dr Cecilia Wee (Artsadmin); live art: Dr Daniel Oliver (Queen Mary University of London),  ADHD: Consultant Dr Ulrich Müller and UKAAN Committee Member Jane Sedgwick, and visual art: Dr Kai Syng Tan (SGDP). We were joined by young people aged 14-21, as the evening is part of the SLG's youth forum, the Art Assassins who were working on their year-long project The Peckham Experiment: A Centre for Self-organisation. 

3) A new short film made by #MagicCarpet's Michael Larsson (Sweden), Philip Tan (Singapore) and Kai was also launched that evening. 

4) Badge-making workshop for 8 year-old school children from the local Lyndhurst Primary School.