A Hub to challenge misconceptions collaboratively

New interdisciplinary group to be based at the Wellcome Collection.

A group exploring dementia and the arts has been invited to take up the 2016–2018 residency in The Hub at London’s Wellcome Collection, a space for interdisciplinary projects exploring health and wellbeing. The group aims to examine and challenge perceptions of dementia through scientific and creative experimentation with the help of £1 million funding to develop the project over two academic years.

This group will be the second to take up the space following in the footsteps of ‘Hubbub’, which explored rest and busyness in the modern world. The new group will be led by Sebastian Crutch (neuropsychologist at the UCL Dementia Research Centre) and Caroline Evans; they will be joined by a team that includes science writer Philip Ball, visual artist Charlie Murphy and BBC medical correspondent Fergus Walsh.

Inspiration for the project came from the experiences, questions and uncertainties of people living with dementia. The group aims to challenge common misconceptions of dementia through artistic and scientific investigation of less recognised symptoms associated with typical and rare dementias. The team also hope to enrich understanding about dementia by raising provocative questions about the healthy brain, our emotional reactions to change in ourselves and others, and the attributes by which we value and define humanity.

The Hub space at Wellcome Collection will provide a base for the group, starting in October, to perform creative research and to stage scientific and artistic experiments, data-gathering and public events. The group will also have access to resources in Wellcome Collection, the Wellcome Trust and the Wellcome Library.

Dr Crutch, Project Director, said: ‘We are thrilled to have the opportunity to bring together people from so many different disciplines and backgrounds to engage in a practical and authentic piece of interdisciplinary research.  This project was spurred by hundreds of conversations with people living with different forms of dementia, and it is only by developing, deepening and broadening those conversations that we can achieve our goal of delivering novel toolkits, methodologies and ways of thinking to enable us to better understand and use the arts in dementia.’ 

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