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Arts and Health Australia

EVIDENCE: Fiction-Non-Fiction?

Building on his keynotes and conversations in Australia over the last five years, this presentation brings discussions in arts/health, full-circle for Clive Parkinson, who questions the thorny old issue of what constitutes evidence in arts/health practice. He asks, are Randomised Controlled Trials the most efficient way of understanding the potency of arts and cultural interventions and if so, on which models are we basing our investigations - and just who controls the research agenda? With foray's into the pharmaceutical, the spiritual and the absurd, this paper is a clarion call for honesty and integrity in our evolving arts/health community, that questions the dominance of prescriptive ideologies, whilst questioning what exactly constitutes authenticity.

Clive ParkinsonClive Parkinson

Clive is the Director of Arts for Health. Based at Manchester Metropolitan University, it is the longest established organisation of its sort. Clive is a passionate advocate for culture and the arts and is constantly striving to further understand the potential impact of the arts on public health, particularly in light of the ongoing global financial downturn. Responding to this crisis, he has been working with artists, health practitioners and free-thinkers to explore shared thinking and action around contemporary practice and has produced a manifesto for arts, health and wellbeing; which in turn has influenced the development of the National Alliance for Arts, Health and Wellbeing, National Charter. He will be chairing the National Alliance leading into Culture, Health and Wellbeing International Conference in Bristol June 2013.

He is currently working on research around dementia and imagination, and involved in arts/health development work in Italy, France, Lithuania and Turkey. Building on his paper at the 2012 international Arts and Health Australia conference at the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra, he is working towards an exhibition and series of events that explore the role of culture and the arts in relation to conversations about death and dying. The exhibition '...Imagining Death', will be held in Manchester, Bogota and Vilnius in 2013.

As a visual artist, he worked in a hospital for people with learning difficulties whilst undertaking a degree at Lancaster University focusing on the relationship between creativity, culture, the arts and health. Employed variously by the NHS and voluntary sector, Clive has led on mental health promotion for an NHS Trust and managed day services for people affected by schizophrenia in the Northern seaside town of Morecambe. He regularly blogs at: artsforhealthmmu.blogspot.co.uk