Studies in wellbeing

A series of installations at the University of Leicester is encouraging people to reflect on the topic of wellbeing in different ways.

It includes a bin for your negative thoughts, an archive of wellbeing advice and experiments of using art as a tool to express feelings and to listen.

School of Business PhD student, Katie Melvin, has been awarded a Wellcome Trust grant which is helping her run an art exhibition as part of DeStress Fest at Attenborough Arts Centre until 28 March in collaboration with local artists Jenny Hibberd and Emma Fay.

The exhibition, made up of three installations, will allow Katie to combine her interests of how researchers can engage with art and ideas surrounding wellbeing.

DeStress Fest is a three month-long festival which invites people to study the mind and body through the lens of art. Katie and Jenny present themselves and their installations under the banner of 'MadArt'. The MadArt installations contribute to the Attenborough Arts Centre's main "Portraits of the Mind" exhibition by Emma Fay.

Katie’s research at the University of Leicester, on a studentship project funded by the School of Business and School of Psychology, investigates feelings and psychosis. Bringing together her research and background of working in the NHS, she recognised we don’t always have the language to express, or tools to research feelings, and so set about investigating other ways to explore the subject.

Through three installations at the Arts Centre, Katie and Jenny aim to encourage people to reflect on wellbeing in different ways. The cathartic installation “Bin and Gone” (pictured) invites people to write down something negative to throw away and set a positive intention to take forward. Whilst the “Book of Feel Good” invites visitors to contribute their best feel good tips, with aims to create a community archive of wellbeing advice and peer support. The “Thought Traits” series, displays experiments of using art as a tool to express feelings and to listen.