OK...it’s time that this blog took a moment to rest, to reflect on the very nature of life. There will be a short intermission whilst Arts for Health pulls down the blinds and shuts up shop for a couple of weeks. Tiaras and tears will be on plentiful display on the streets of our empty capital.
This year has seen the highest number of hits this modest blog receives, with new friends emerging from the unlikeliest of countries. To those of you who quietly read these pages, I hope you find this work interesting and occasionally, entertaining: and for those of you who go on to get in touch, thank you. One or two of you, I feel lucky enough to call friends - so a big thank you to you.
This field we call Arts for Health; Arts in Health or Arts and Health is expanding and contracting - evolving right before our eyes. Its flexing its muscles too. Those in the wider cultural sector are getting it - realising that if the work’s done well, it can have a profound reach and impact. And then there are those exhilarating health practitioners, who’ve always got it, and who are now seeing a window of opportunity to assert the place of culture and the arts in the very real world of health and wellbeing. Acute settings, cultural settings, prisons, schools, on the streets, in shopping centre’s and yes, in theaters and galleries too - this arts and health thing we do, is transforming itself into more diverse and engaged practice - the beating heart of civic societies, that will emerge from the wreckage of our contemporary dystopia.
Lets re-imagine ourselves then: post olympics - post jubilee - post global economic downturn...post dystopia. Its hard, isn’t it? From Robert Montgomery’s poetic attack on consumer culture and Shamsia Hassani’s graffiti on the streets of Kabul, to Pussy Riot’s neutering by an oppressive government - the arts offer critique of the status quo and give voice to frustration and anger, offering a thousand new opportunities of possible futures. Our wellbeing is at stake if we fail to understand the relevance of culture and the arts in relation to wider social and political agendas. Goodbye for now, enjoy life...and a lovely summer song.