Forming Life: Aesthetic Awareness in Mental Health Care

  • Arild Berg Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences
  • Boel Christensen-Scheel Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences
  • Mette Holme Ingeberg Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences

Sammendrag

Using cross-disciplinary perspectives from artistic research, aesthetic theory, and mental health care, this article discusses qualities in sensuous surroundings in mental health facilities. Although the background for the article is in the increased awareness in aesthetic research concerning sensuous surroundings and their connection to health and well-being, this aesthetic research is only reflected to a small extent in research on mental health care surroundings. A further development of these perspectives is suggested in this article by introducing the concept of life forms from the art theorist Nicolas Bourriaud and the concepts of presentation and perception in theatrical communication from theatre researcher Willmar Sauter. These theories are discussed and exemplified on the basis of data from two mental health care wards: one from a psychogeriatric ward and the other from a polyclinic for eating disorders. Some essential qualities identified in the examples were that aesthetic environment and activity could be seen as formative to the “inner landscape”, and that different forms of sensuous activation and interaction could help patients escape communicative isolation. It is further demonstrated how participatory strategies can challenge artistic practice and that art can contribute to a health promoting and communicative space in mental health care. In the discussion section, it is argued that an activating, and possibly empowering, environment can be created through an increased awareness of the aesthetic strategies used in health care institutions. The study seeks to contribute to knowledge transfer in artistic practice and healthcare practice, as a part of a cross-disciplinary art didactic discourse, which intends to address specific societal challenges.

Forfatterbiografier

Arild Berg, Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences

Arild Berg teaches in research methods and communication strategies at Department of Product Design at Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences. He is a Doctor of Arts Candidate at the School of Arts, Design and Architecture at the Aalto University in Finland, a school with the motto Pro Arte Utili, which means For Useful Art. He has studied participatory processes in public art and especially the role of the material based arts. His background is in ceramic art with several public art projects, see www.arildberg.no . He has held several positions of trust in the contemporary art field; a member of the national board of The Norwegian Association for Arts and Crafts (NK) and as board member of Norwegian Visual Artists Copyright Society (BONO). His aim is to explore how artistic research and artistic practice can take part in interdisciplinary research to enable more use of art in society.

Boel Christensen-Scheel, Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences

Boel Christensen-Scheel is associate professor in aesthetics and art didactics at Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences. Christensen-Scheel holds a Ph.D. in contemporary art and performance theory, and her field of interest mainly concerns art's relational capacities from bodily experience, epistemology and didactics, to more explicit political and ecological projects. She has translated Nicolas Bourriaud’s 'Relational Aesthetics' to Norwegian (Pax Forlag, Artes, 2007), worked as an art critic and more recently she has published an essay about Kjartan Slettemark's Nixon Series (Torpedo Press, 2010).

Mette Holme Ingeberg, Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences

Mette Home Ingeberg is a trained nurse who in 1969 spesialized in psychiatry. Her work places include the hospitals of Ullevål and Blakstad. She majored in health subjects in 1994 and worked at the University College of Oslo and Akershus from 1987 until 2013, in later years holding a position as associate professor. Mette Holme has published a number of articles and books.

Publisert
2013-12-17
Hvordan referere
Berg, A., Christensen-Scheel, B., & Ingeberg, M. H. (2013). Forming Life: Aesthetic Awareness in Mental Health Care. Nordic Journal of Art and Research, 2(2). https://doi.org/10.7577/if.v2i2.737
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