This section focuses on four formal Post-Doctoral roles (2014-2019) where I led innovative projects, facilitated the research of others as mentor, developed the research culture of host institution by introducing new research themes, creative interdisciplinary methods, anti-colonial approaches, and previously-excluded collaborators, as well as crafting inclusive pathways in research themes and methods, and generating ripple effects for researchers and practitioners within and beyond institution, as well as public.
2017-2019: KING’S COLLEGE LONDON
First Artist-in-Residence and Visiting Fellow, Social, Genetic & Developmental Psychiatry Centre (SGDP), Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience (IoPPN)
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder ADHD has hitherto been largely ‘invisible’ (Tan 2018) like the process itself, as well as ignored and under-discussed. If mentioned, it is often derided, criminalised, marginalised, misunderstood, contested, fetishised, objectified, ventriloquised, commodified and/or white-washed by others with more academic and social capital.
- Nuanced, native neurodivergent perspectives not been meaningfully included, while deficit/medical models dominate. Stereotypical images of mischievous, destructive boys disputing class and running around abound. while accusations also pervade in terms of overprescription, and how ADHD is a lie invented by Big Pharma, and more recently, Gen Z-ers on Tik Tok — after all, aren’t we all ‘a bit ADHD’ today, given the attention deficit of a busy 21st century society, and brain fog caused by a FOMO (fear of missing out) culture social media and long Covid.
- All this, despite how between 15% to 20% of the world population are thought to be neurodivergent (Doyle, 2020), and the overrepresentation of neuro-minorities in the arts (Bacon and Bennett 2013; RCA 2016). Warnings by Thinktanks like Demos (2018) on how under-diagnosed cases can cost the UK economy ‘billions of pounds every year’
- Yet, at the same time, global bodies like Harvard, World Economic Forum and NESTA are paying attention to neurodiversity as ‘the next business opportunity’. This parallels and feeds into the myth of the ‘high functioning’, Rain Man type autistic white male workforce of Silicon Valley, ignoring intersectionality and the less sexy faces of neurodiversity. Indeed, within the neurodiversity movement, politics and infight abound, with white, ‘high-functioning’ male top of food chain, with issues of closed membership, exceptionalism, racism and white privilege, classism, overrepresentation of autism, hierarchies of normality and oppression, and the under discussion of intersectionality and how neurodiversity entangles with creativity and research (see for instance Russell Barbarin 2021, Russell 2020, Mistry 2019 and Obasi 2022)
- I designed, proposed and successfully won a £56,427 commission by King’s College London (King’s Artists scheme) and Unlimited (disability arts), and led an art-science creative research programme We Sat on a Mat, Had a Chat and Made Maps! #MagicCarpet, at the world-leading Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Centre (SGDP) as its first artist-in-residence and Visiting Fellow.
- #MagicCarpet explores how ADHD relates with mind wandering and creativity, through a wide range of creative research, artistic (tapestry, film, participatory art, performance, installation), teaching/learning and pastoral care and citizenship activities, processes, outputs and outcomes. Key in this was my immersion in SGDP for two years as woman, artist, researcher and academic (durational performance), the creation of new original art works, and co-creation of activities with established and emerging researchers, academics and students at SGDP and other disciplines within KCL, as well as other communities in other HEIs and the public, in UK and internationally.
- My key collaborator and mentor was global mental health expert Professor of Psychiatry Philip Asherson (President, UK Adult ADHD Network, Scientific Advisor to ADHD Europe, £4.6m grants from NIHR, EU, MRC). Collaborating Partners include: Headway East London (charity for people affected by brain injury), UK Adult ADHD Network (UKAAN) and creative health pioneer Prof Helen Chatterjee MBE. I recruited, led and managed a diverse team that includes a production manager, BSL interpreters of global majority backgrounds, photographers and filmmakers, students (with a focus on those who are disabled/international).
- A key output was the carpet in question, which was weaved at the same factory that artist Grayson Perry weaved his, in Belgium. The carpet opens up a new intellectual, creative and physical spaces for participants to engage and apply ‘multiple theories and concepts’, ‘a variety of skills, techniques and methods’ and ‘[use] self-knowledge and personal cognition’, which are key in creative thinking (Hanna 2007). As ‘mobile classroom’, participants are invited to sit on tapestry/carpet, make drawings to visualise how their minds wander, and discuss taught/received/internalised/lived knowledges about the constructs of ‘normality’.
- Within two years, 10,000 HE students, researchers, healthcare professionals, policymakers in psychiatry, neuroscience and educational psychology engaged with #MagicCarpet through 60 workshops/masterclasses/seminars, keynote lectures, exhibitions and installations, open mics, speed dates and other innovative activities worldwide, while 100,000 accessed its resources online on social media platforms and websites. Highlights include engagement with:
- 400 mental health experts who attended the European Network of Hyperactivity Disorders’ 5th Conference in Edinburgh (sections of which I also headlined and chaired 2018)
- 500 health policymakers at Nesta’s People Powered Future Health event in London (2018)
- 5.9m Euro- funded consortium of 17 partnering HEI and research groups from eight European countries and the US, including the Departments of Genetics at the University of Barcelona, and Biomedicine at Aarhus University, through my Masterclass entitled ‘Ten Reasons to Collaborate with Neurodiverse and Creative Allies’
- 700 members of the public for a four-day exhibition (alongside a keynote lecture and discussion) at Southbank Centre
- Local collective Art Assassins (aged 15-20), scientists and public at South London Gallery through an innovative ‘Speed Date’ I curated at South London
- 8 year olds with ADHD from Lyndhurst School through a workshop I held
- Neuroscientists, psychologists, psychiatrists and locals through a 3-week show at Arts In Mind Festival
- Local and international media including 6 films, such as an invitation to lead an interview in an ESRC-commissioned film on mental health, and another EU-funded film watched >52,574 times plus Resonance FM, Big Issue North and more
- The positive reputation of work lead to international showcases (such as at a dyslexia conference in San Marino), and being approached by an aspiring creative health researcher who travelled from Malaysia to be my intern for one week
- I also contributed actively to the host institution. As curator of the SGDP art space, I invited emerging and established art-health researchers to engage with SGDP (such as curated a book launch by an psychoanalyst-artist Dr Patricia Townsend). I designed a diagram to propose a new paradigm for ADHD in an article in Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, and created communication outputs for a £1,397,685 NIHR project in HM prison, which I visited as part of my research. Formal roles include being a Personal Tutor to MSc students, providing pastoral care and academic guidance, being King’s Health Partners Mind & Body Champion, Diversity & Inclusion Mentor, Disability Working Group Member and Professional Staff Mentor. I was also invited to teach on MSc Affective Disorder and MA Education in Arts & Cultural Settings, School of Education, Communication & Society, both of which continue to this day
OUTCOMES, IMPACTS & ONGOING LEGACY
- In its two years of research and touring, #MagicCarpet has successfully helped to widen and enrich discourses & practice around research, teaching/learning of ADHD at SGDP and beyond. It has raised interest, awareness and discussion on the positive and creative aspects of ADHD, as well as how it is associated with women (historically under-diagnosed, as highlighed in a NICE 2018 report), and as a still relatively new diagnosis, how people who are discovering about their neurodivergence later in life. In triggering shifts in attitude and raising new questions, #MagicCarpet is planting the seeds for longer term cultural change by others through action, practice and policy.
- My contributions are adding value to a growing movement to think more positively about differences, and provide gravitas and new perspectives to existing discourses on creativity, leadership and more. Emerging scientific research is also revealing how artists and scientists have displayed traits of ADHD, such as the polymath Leonardo da Vinci whose mirror-writing and intellectual dynamism have been discussed as expressions of his dyslexia and ADHD (Røsstad 2002; Mangione and Maestro 2019; Catani and Mazzarello 2019). Research is also revealing the positive value of autism, ADHD and more, including divergent thinking and risk-taking (Baron-Cohen 2017, Lesch 2018, Abraham et al 2006), which are traits now understood as essential for effective leadership (e.g. Frost, Fiedler, and Anders this on 2016). The concept of ‘neurodiversity’ (how humans have different cognitive, communicative and behavioural steps, Singer 1998), and how it is a subset of biodiversity (eg Baron-Cohen 2018) has also been gaining momentum. Global bodies have been calling for creativity + inter- and trans-disciplinary approaches to tackle wicked challenges for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (e.g. World Economic Forum 2016; AHRC 2019; Royal Society of Arts 2020, Tony Blair institute 2022). Against the backdrop of the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and Black Lives Matter reckonings of 2020, institutions are having to pay attention to methods and structures to foreground equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) by/with/for marginalised/minoritised communities. #MagicCarpet adds a genuine, rigorously-researched, critical yet playful and creative voice to the discourse
- Philip Asherson states that ‘#MagicCarpet is a leading example of successful collaboration between scientific and cultural sectors. The project has been held as an innovative integration of art and science and functions as a powerful platform for the clinical and scientific community to develop an interesting dialogue, and to find new, exciting and innovative ways to communicate the science of ADHD. The work is contributing to both local and national training with healthcare professionals and researchers. The project is a very exciting and innovative integration of art and science and functions as a wonderful platform for the clinical and scientific community to develop an interesting dialogue with Kai, and to find new, exciting and innovative ways to communicate the science of ADHD through her art.’
- #MagicCapret ‘is really making a difference’, states Professor of Developmental Disorders & Neuropsychiatry Jonna Kuntsi, while Head of SGDP Professor of Genetic Epidemiology Cathryn Lewis states that ‘We have been lucky to have @kaisyngtan as part of the @SGDPCentre, @KingsIoPPN. She brought creativity, and her wonderful good cheer top our daily lives, while working with Philip Asherson on #ADGD and mind wandering.’ She continues: ‘We will miss you at the SGDP Centre. I hope that you will always feel part of the SGDP family, and you will certainly always have a warm welcome to the Centre whenever you are in London. Through you I have learned how closely art, science and medicine are linked, and that art is more than a picture on the wall.’ ‘Your work has given us some high standards o keep, which will be all the harder without you to put in that third dimension to our work and our play. […] it has been such an enriching relationship in both directions, and I do hope we find a way to continue that.’
- One of the project’s artistic outputs won National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement Images for Culture Change Award 2018. Judges praise the work for being ‘challenging and thought provoking’, with a ‘positively-disruptive energy’, ‘challenging the old with the new, taking risks’, and capturing the ‘thrill of creating new knowledge which challenges and changes the world’, summing up the project’s grasp of the power of public engagement (PE). I used the art materials awarded by NCCPE to set up an ‘Art and Science Creative Collisions programme’ that aimed to apply art and creativity in science research. I invited PhD student Isabella Vanieri to co-lead this, and we ran regular art and craft sessions at the foyer. Isabella also then shifted the direction of her PhD to also focus on the positive aspects of ADHD ‘because of [my] work’. Today, as Research Tutor at children’s charity Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, Dr Vanieri continues to use art and creativity in her clinical practice, thus further perpetuating the impact of MagicCarpet. Outputs created from the sessions included fancy-dress costumes that students and staff then wore to the Departmental Christmas parties, sweeping up the top prizes!
- Several national and international congresses on ADHD now include positive aspects in their themes, such as a conference in Berlin for 870 psychiatrists, psychologists, neuroscientists that I headlined (2021) where a US psychology expert Professor Stephen Faraone also urges participants to join in, not ignore, the conversation on neurodiversity (2021). The generation of 135 drawings made by participants and myself to visualise our wandering minds. MRI scans and other high-tech/scientific renditions aside, the drawings and the carpet are powerful visual evidences and expressions of the human mind in its diverse, messy and magical glory.
- The materials generated by myself and others continue to be used for teaching, learning and research. Example: As founding member of the University Neurodiversity peer group, contributed to a Neurodiversity Toolkit for Kings which is now also shared publicly. Keynote lecture for launch event now on Youtube and used for training on neurodiversity. With Prof. Asherson, I co-designed a radical psychiatry-creative practice PhD course, on translating scientific findings into societal change, dissemination & improving public understanding ADHD through creative practice. I am still keen to get funding for this!
- #MagicCarpet successfully empowered people with ADHD and others, by showcasing, working with and including marginalised creatives, students and ‘service users’, such as commissioning a perspex ‘loom’ from women designers in East London. Through my teaching and publications during the #MagicCarpet project, I enabled participants to engage and channel their own neurodivergence in productive ways. Formalising my innovations in these ways enables other teachers/learners to access and adapt my approaches, and advance their own. 100% of written feedback for activities state ‘Agree’ or ‘Strongly Agree’ to the statement, ‘this event has challenged my understanding of how artists and scientists collaborate, and/or my own body and mind and those of others’ (Tan 2019). Other feedback include:
- #MagicCarpet has created a family for people with ADHD’, and that ‘I learned more about the mind [than] what I would have learned in a classroom (The Psychologist 2018). States Mike Barrett, a queer scientist in his 60’s who now identifies as being neurodivergnet: ‘Kai is an incandescent source of energy […] [who] illuminates the paths for others […] allowing us to see ourselves more clearly and positively, to recognise our strengths and giving us the confidence to [speak] out, to demand recognition, to carve our paths to success. She [threw] a spotlight for me […] that has led to residencies working with the scientists of KCL, Imperial and Southampton Universities, and then to be a Visiting Teaching Fellow on the KCL MSc/MRes’ (2020).
- Collaborators and team members were also beneficiaries. States Professor Helen Chatterjee MBE: ‘Fantastic to be involved #MagicCarpet @wesatonamat discussing mind wandering & ADHD’ (2017). Producer Alessandra Cianetti states: ‘Thanks […] for being able to gather so many different people and create such a proactive, engaging and safe environment for people from all disciplines to be part of the conversation (yesterday I spoke with NHS people, academics, poets, theatre-makers, students….).’
- The tapestry and outputs were widely-praised as ‘beautiful’ (eg Disability Arts Online 2018), and images of #MagicCarpet were widely-used (although not always explicitly credited) to front King’s official annual reports, and across social media platforms on Twitter banners, Facebook and more, in 2017-2019
- Another success story: I mentored another young migrant woman and curated her first exhibition. She is now advancing her arts-health initiatives in her PhD in clinical psychology at Oxford, and as trustee for mental health charity Restore. Relationships such as these allow me to bring other minoritised/marginalised learners/teachers into spaces I have successfully trespassed, or to infiltrate spaces previously/historically inaccessible to myself and others like me, and create interventions to generate disciplinary, cultural, structural and/or policy/ideological change. I continue to keep in touch with some of these students, who have asked me to provide reference letters for their employment and PhD studies. I am now mentoring artist with PhD to work with scientist on hormones for King’s Artists
- My track record and profile has since been growing and I am increasingly recognised as a leading proponent of Neurodiversity & creative research in UK and beyond, engaging in activities that continue to generate longer term, ongoing impacts including:
- Appointment as the first artist on the Editorial Board of British Journal of Psychiatry Bulletin, which is read by all registered psychiatrists in UK and distributed beyond the UK, totalling 87,216 physical copies per year, and more online as an open access journal
- Appointment as the first Creative and Cultural Consultant of the UK Adult ADHD Network
- The founding, co-chairing of a lively global alliance of Neurodiversity ND Network
- Working as consultant for PsychArt (2017-2020), set up by trainee psychiatrists and supported by Royal College of Psychiatrists, to explore the collisions between art, psychiatry and creativity
- Bringing creative arts and humanities into science and vice versa as invited lecturer on creativity for Affective Disorder MSc, MA Education in Arts & Cultural Settings, and arts-health at St Georges University London
- Advising UK Parliamentary Knowledge Exchange unit that led to training for staff to improve access for disabled and neurodivergent researchers
- Co-authoring Frontiers article on neuroaesthetics entitled ‘Covid-19 and Mental Health: Could Visual Art Exposure Help?’ Frontiers in Psychology Vol.12. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.650314 As of 08/2022, >8375 views, which is more than 86% of other Frontiers articles, and cited in >3 peer-reviewed journal articles, including International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (2022)
- Designing and delivering masterclasses, workshops and more at multiple HEIs and consortiums UK & Europe, including Kingston, UAL, Plymouth. ELIA
- Mentoring and advising individuals who share their stories of how neurodiversity entangles with creativity with me
- Writing my first monograph outlining ‘Neurofuturism’ for the year 2050, colliding discourse and practice in mobilities, creative research, leadership and neurodiversity
- AHRC reviews for a proposal of next phase states: ‘outstanding’, ‘exciting and innovative’; ‘very interesting and creative research outputs’, ‘already leading the way’; ‘impressive track record’; ‘clearly has a good deal of energy’; ‘has strong institutional support’
2017-2018: LANCASTER UNIVERSITY
Visiting Fellow, Centre for Mobilities Research (CEMORE)
- CONTEXT: Mobilities is a heuristic, trans-disciplinary paradigm in the social sciences, arts, humanities and sciences endeavour led by CEMORE. It encompasses the analysis of the global, national and local movements of people, objects, capital, information and material things combining together to engender the economic and social patterning of life. Past Fellows of the Fellowship scheme include Dr Bradley L. Garrett, well-known for his urban explorations. Despite complex contributions to mobilities, the role of art in mobilities had hitherto not been given formal recognition and serious study as a specific strand and method.
- INTERVENTION: As Visiting Fellow, and working on total given budget of £1000 which included my travel and accommodation expenses, I strategised, instigated, designed, organised an Inaugural Symposium and Exhibition of Art and Mobilities. The aim was to mobilise proponents and allies, and rally the field to pay attention to role of art in mobilities as a specific strand and method. Playing the roles of Curator, Producer and Convenor, and working closely with #artmobs pioneer Dr Jen Southern (Mobilities Lab Director), I led on scholarly, conceptual as well as practical and operational aspects of the Symposium and Exhibition. We coined the term #ArtMobs to unite hitherto fragmented efforts, bring about a sense of shared identity for participants, and to enable ‘brand recognition’ for others. I steered a small team which included Prof Emma Rose (Lancaster Institute for Contemporary Arts), Dr Linda O Keeffe (now Head of Edinburgh College of Art), and led monthly Skype meetings in lead-up to discuss research context, programming and event logistics. I also initiated, designed and edited an ‘instant journal’, and wrote a new keynote lecture. In addition, I coordinated with catering and technical staff — all this, while I was leading my own art-science research programme #MagicCarpet at King’s College London.
- OUTCOMES & LEGACIES: I successfully delivered a one-day hybrid event that took place at the Peter Scott Gallery as well as online. We were joined by 30 self-funding colleagues from arts, sociology and design from 15 institutions, including the co-founder of Mobilities Prof Mimi Sheller (Drexel University, USA) and others from Pantheon Sorbonne (Paris), Griffith (Australia), Goldsmiths (UK). My keynote lecture was well-received and have helped establish my place as leading researcher in running as a poetic mobilities discourse, leading to further invitations to publish book chapters. I am also working on my first monograph. The Instant journal has since became a useful reference for the emerging field, being a site that collated, showcased, and formally recorded the role of art and artists within mobilities in a point in time. Since then, a new ArtMobs Jisc research network has been set up to sustain discussions and to seed further research innovations.
2017-2018: UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON
Visiting Fellow, Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS)
- CONTEXT: The interdisciplinary research community, founded and led by art historian Prof Tamar Garb, hosts researchers worldwide, including Prof Mary Rawlinson (Philosophy chair, Stony Brook University NY). While interdisciplinary, its focus is largely theory- and desk-based humanities research
- INTERVENTION: Through the chairing of 3 seminars and participation in the Institute’s activities, I introduced creative research approaches, co-creators and themes (Running Studies and ADHD as a creative approach) that brought a different – tentacular, restless and dynamic – energy to the mix. I tested out new ideas such as ‘Order/Disorder: The artist-researcher as connector-disrupter-running messenger?’ to explore the role of artist-researcher as a provocateur in arts in health. I introduced my collaborators from other disciplines to further energise IAS, including Prof Alan Latham (Geography) & postdoctoral researcher and urban planner Lucy Natarajan. I also worked with Dr Vivienne Lo (UCL China Centre for Health and Humanity) & Dr Mohammed Aboulleil Rashed (KCL philosophy lecturer & practising psychiatrist)
- OUTCOMES: I successfully introduced and advanced my own creative practice-led research innovations. My contributions have generated ongoing, lasting dialogues & collaboration. Several colleagues signed up to my Running Cultures Research Group. I have also devised and delivered several workshops with Mohammed linking philosophy, psychiatry, creative arts, showcasing our ongoing dialogues on high-profile platforms like Oxford University Summer School and Royal Institute of Philosophy Festival Manchester (both 2022) and co-authoring chapter for Cambridge University book (2023).
2014-2017: LEEDS ARTS UNIVERSITY
Junior Research Fellow, then promoted to Research Fellow
- CONTEXT: Leeds Arts College has a rich history, with alumni including Henry Moore, Damien Hirst & Barbara Hepworth. It prides itself as a small specialist art institution in the North, with a focus on attracting students from white working class backgrounds in the region.
- INTERVENTION: I was employed to help develop its research culture at personal and institutional level, in one of two new roles of Junior Research Fellow, and was one of the first, few staff members who is international and/or of a global majority background. Apart from being the institution’s REF 2021 Steering Committee Member and CREST (Consortium for Research Excellence, Support and Training) repository reviewer, I initiated & led research & knowledge exchange (RKE), public engagement (PE) and teaching and learning activities at regional, national and international levels. Examples include:
- Mentoring & coaching staff on their CPD, research and PhD
- Creating mechanisms to initiate international exchanges
- presenting business case for purchasing & introducing technological infrastructure to enable online webinar
- Creating corresponding, comprehensive support structure to soften culture change, including multiple training sessions bringing academic & professional staff together, overcoming inertia on individual & institutional levels (‘scary to speak with foreign strangers through alienating platforms’)
- OUTCOME: I created high-quality research, helped raise the standards of research and research culture, and succeeded in introducing the College at regional, national and international platforms previously inaccessible. Examples:
- First in the College to become BBC/AHRC New Generation Thinkers’ finalist (60 out of 1000 entries), election into AHRC Peer Review College
- Gave performance-lectures at Association of American Geographers’ Annual Meeting in Chicago, Nordic Geographers’ Meeting in Sweden, and publishing at peer-reviewed interdisciplinary journals like Transfers
- Awarded £17,000 across 3 years to carry out research innovations, such as international RUN! RUN! RUN! Biennale 2016, benefitting the College with knowledge & skills of national & international academics & practitioners from creative, sporting & human rights third sector organisations, including Stephanie Case, Geneva-based UN Human Rights Lawyer & founder of Free To Run, a fitness-cum-advocacy group for women and girls in Afghanistan & migrant workers in Hong Kong
- Initiatives like RUN! RUN! RUN! Leeds opened up new spaces to gather professional and academic staff, and students from different levels and disciplines, to learn about new approaches and methods to artistic research and external engagement, such as with Leeds Art Gallery and Made in Leeds
- Initiated and delivered webinars & exchanges such as with Singapore Institute of Management University, for which I was External Examiner then, on theme of widening participation
- The outstanding performance led to my promotion within the first year, from a Junior Research Fellow (fixed term contract) to Research Fellow (permanent contract)
- The high calibre contribution was instrumental in enabling institution to be awarded European Commission HR Excellence in Research Award 2016
- The College was also awarded Taught Degrees Awarding Power to change status from college to University (Leeds Arts University, LAU). Scrutiny Team Reports by the auditors explicitly highlighted on page 3: ‘During the course of the scrutiny the profile of research has increased considerably. The College has been proactive in developing this through initiatives including the appointment of two post-doctoral Junior Research Fellows’. Page 27 continues: ‘Their CVs demonstrate that, along with doctorates, they both have experience: of teaching in UK universities and extensive research credentials, such as funding grants they have won; of a number of research outputs and marks of esteem as conference presenters; and as consultants and advisers to other art organisations’. Page 31 continues: ‘Staff have found the [research] clusters, supported by the Junior Research Fellows […] to be very useful in providing mentorship and assistance in developing their research and scholarship’
- CASE STUDY: ROAM! ROAM! ROAM! (2016-7) was a practice-led research programme I initiated and led with students and staff that link art practice, artistic research, psycho-geography, with monthly mentoring sessions lasting 1-5 hours each time. To synthesise and showcase our learnings and findings, I applied for and curated an exhibition showing works we co-created, which received coverage in Made In Leeds (a local media platform) and AHRC news. Feedback from a participant, former-engineer who took up art via an Access course in his 50’s, states: ‘Working with Kai greatly improved my personal development’, giving his creative research ‘a fresh, vibrant focus’. The ‘formalisation of learning’ provided him ‘discipline, focus and a framework in which to grow’. He ‘greatly enjoyed the discussions and critical feedback’ and how I made him ‘feel equal as a fellow professional’. The programme enable engagement in higher order of learning, consolidating and elevating his sense of identity as a creative researcher, stating ‘I will now call myself a “walking artist”’ and that ‘ROAM! shows me that walking can create a framework in which extended practice can flourish’. He now ‘enjoys continuing my research’ and ‘using my practice to find solutions’, feeling part of ‘a real community’, he gained confidence and proposed working with alumni, students and the Northern School of Contemporary Dance. ‘This is the beginning’, he declares.
- ANOTHER CASE STUDY: To help her gain professional experience in arts management and production, I worked with another mature student for my RUN!RUN!RUN! Biennale 2016. The retiree had worked for 30 years in commercial sector & NHS, but had limited experience in the arts. In her feedback she stated: ‘I have not stopped thinking about ‘method and metaphor’ in art practice […]. The time with you continues to influence me in a good way’ (2016). Since completing the Access course, she moved to London, and volunteered for my art-science project #MagicCarpet at Kings College London. Her feedback: With her interest in linking art and science ignited, she went on to complete MA Art and Science at Central St Martins, working across performance and film, and is now a confident interdisciplinary artist. She says ‘It was a pleasure to be with you in action Kai. You create a kind of “being with”. You are in our presence and we in yours. […] You were being you, in all your energy, power, wit, vulnerability, confusion and searing clarity.’ (2018).