• Where the wild things are! Do urban green spaces with greater avian biodiversity promote more positive emotions in humans?

      Cameron, Ross; Brindley, Paul; Mears, Meagan; McEwan, Kirsten; Ferguson, Fiona; Sheffield, David; Jorgensen, Anna; Riley, J; Goodwick, J; Ballard, L; et al. (Elsevier, 2020-01-22)
      Urban green space can help mitigate the negative impacts of urban living and provide positive effects on citizens’ mood, health and well-being. Questions remain, however, as to whether all types of green space are equally beneficial, and if not, what landscape forms or key features optimise the desired benefits. For example, it has been cited that urban landscapes rich in wildlife (high biodiversity) may promote more positive emotions and enhance well-being. This research utilised a mobile phone App, employed to assess people’s emotions when they entered any one of 945 green spaces within the city of Sheffield, UK. Emotional responses were correlated to key traits of the individual green spaces, including levels of biodiversity the participant perceived around them. For a subsample of these green spaces, actual levels of biodiversity were assessed through avian and habitat surveys. Results demonstrated strong correlations between levels of avian biodiversity within a green space and human emotional response to that space. Respondents reported being happier in sites with greater avian biodiversity (p < 0.01, r = 0.78) and a greater variety of habitats (p < 0.02, r = 0.72). Relationships were strengthened when emotions were linked to perceptions of overall biodiversity (p < 0.001, r = 0.89). So, when participants thought the site was wildlife rich, they reported more positive emotions, even when actual avian biodiversity levels were not necessarily enhanced. The data strengthens the arguments that nature enhances well-being through positive affect, and that increased ‘engagement with nature’ may help support human health within urban environments. The results have strong implications for city planning with respect to the design, management and use of city green spaces.
    • ‘Withness’: Creative spectating for residents living with advanced dementia in care homes

      Astell-Burt, Caroline; McNally, Theresa; Collard-Stokes, Gemma; Irons, J. Yoon; London School of Puppetry; University of Derby (Intellect, 2020-07-01)
      Aiming to illustrate the potential for puppetry as a useful resource in dementia care, the authors argue unusually that play with puppets derives not particularly from drama or theatre, but fundamentally from the performative relationship people have with objects. The puppeteers of the study achieved remarkable emotional connection with care-home residents through an experience of puppetry, which dissolved the unitary autonomy of the puppet, recontextualizing it relationally as the puppeteer-with-puppet-with-spectator. It is this ‘withness’ that ignited the creative spark of presence of the residents. For a moment of trust and child-like joy kinaesthetic memories stirred in them, appearing to break down emotional barriers between the person and the world around them and indicating comparatively longer-term therapeutic benefits.
    • Women’s inequality: a global problem explored in participatory arts.

      Hogan, Susan; Warren, Lorna; University of Derby,; College of Health & Social Research Centre (UNESCO, 2013-11)
      This paper discusses research-guided practice in community-based arts in health activity in Britain. This discussion is situated within an exploration of health policy and its relationship to the arts in health. It provides a summary analysis of a large body of research relevant to wellbeing and mental-health rehabilitation; it will describe how community-based arts in health activity provides the basis for a set of evidence-based actions to improve well-being. In respect to research-guided practice, this paper will argue a strong case that community-based arts in health initiatives encompass all aspects of the ‘Five Ways to Wellbeing’; furthermore, it will indicate how community arts in health activities are also significant in aiding recovery from mental ill health. The essay moves on to explore why participatory approaches are of particular value to women. In particular, the paper looks at the position of older women, with reference to the New Dynamics of Ageing Programme in Britain. It concludes with a detailed discussion of several recent projects. A description of the research inquiry will enable the partnership structures and the ethos developed in the projects’ delivery to be elucidated and discussed in order to interrogate strategies of practice. It is hoped that this frank discussion of some of the tensions between arts-based participatory practice and arts-based participatory practice for research will be of interest. Different visual methods will be articulated. Methods have included the use of art elicitation, photo-diaries, film-booths, directed photography, and re-enactment phototherapy within an overarching participatory framework. It is recognised that women are a highly diversified group with crosscutting allegiances, some of which have been acknowledged in this project.
    • Working across disciplines: Using visual methods in participatory frameworks

      Hogan, Susan; University of Derby (Berghahn Books, 2017-03)
    • Your body is a battleground: Art therapy with women

      Hogan, Susan; University of Derby,; Health & Social Care Research Centre (2013-09)
      This article interrogates the place of feminism within art therapy. It provides a lively, polemical argument that art therapy must maintain a critical relationship to the discipline of psychology in order to avoid oppressing women with misogynistic discourses which are embedded in theories and practices. The article also explores the visual culture which surrounds us, and how images affect our sensibility, our self-esteem, and our ability to act in the world.