London Brain Project – The Beyond Series
Hello. We are three UCL neuroscientists from UCL Institute of Child Health and an artist alumnus of UCL Slade who share a passion for exploring and communicating about the brain and related areas through the medium of art. We engage through many different formats including interactive exhibitions, art-science workshops, theatre, film, music, sound art, and outreach talks.
The Beyond Series aims to engage hard-to-reach patient populations and the wider general public with brain science being conducted at UCL, through a series of art-science workshops and exhibitions.We are looking for funding towards our next project, Beyond Memory which will bring people with Dementia and Alzheimer’s and their families together with artists and expert researchers to create another fantastic workshop and exhibition.
Find out more about us and the online exhibitions for our previous projects Beyond Seizures andBeyond Tics on our website www.londonbrainproject.com or check out our social media pages (Beyond Tics is also currently on show in the Gallery at UCL Institute of Child Health):
Who are WE?
Michelle Downes, PhD student at UCL Institute of Child Health
Dr Louise Croft, Postdoctorate at UCL Institute of Child Health
Georgia Pitts, PhD student at UCL Institute of Child Health
Julia Vogl, UCL Slade Alumna
Find out more about us here:
The Beyond story
As PhD students, we noticed that patients with neurological disorders are often invited to take part in research at UCL, but there is little opportunity for them to find out about the outcomes of that research, or to hear about the latest findings that are relevant to them. The art-science workshops hosted as part of the Beyond Series engage these hard-to-reach patient groups with brain science being conducted at UCL and other universities, and provides the opportunity for conversations between scientists,artists and patients. This provides unique insights into the aspects of brain disorder patients felt were most important for future research, and the opportunity to pose some really challenging questions to scientists. This level-playing field allows for deep and impactful engagement for both scientists and patients, and provides a voice for people with brain disorders. Patients have given very positive feedback that future workshops should be more large scale, because there isn’t anything else of its kind available. They want longer workshops, more of them, and more participants! Many patients have told us that it was one of the only opportunities they had to interact with other people with their condition, and with clinicians and scientists outside the realms of the lab or clinic. They found that taking part in artistic activities made it easier to discuss their condition, and made the science conversations more accessible. Several patients were empowered by the workshops to develop their own engagement projects. One young woman started a communication project called Tourette Syndrome Plus and one eight year old started filming his very own documentary about how he deals with his disorder and teaches his classmates about it!
The Beyond Seizures and Beyond Tics exhibitions created as a result of the triparte collaborations between scientists, artists, and patients had over 165 visitors on the launch nights, and an average footfall of ~1,500 over one month for each exhibition! Through interactive elements, as well as film and sound installations, LBP provides a deeper level of engagement which require a response from the visitors themselves; for example, by asking ‘What’s your Tic?’. Our docu-films Beyond Seizures and Beyond Tics have received over 1,500 views on youtube. Our first project even got a mention in WIRED!
Due to the unique fusing of art with science, LBP achieves an impactful, novel, accessible and engaging way to get people from outside of the immediate academic community talking about the brain!
Where will the money go?
LBP was created as a one-off event in 2013 and we have continued to learn and grow since! However, we apply for funding on a project to project basis to cover basic costs and so we need to raise money to make our next event happen. The money you donate will go towards the workshop for our next Beyond Project, Beyond Memory, and to help us to grow as a project.
Find us here:
Check out what we have been up to and what we hope to do next:
www.londonbrainproject.com or check out our social media pages:
Help us succeed!
Please share our project with anyone you think would support us – on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, by email, telephone, in a chat over the fence or on your blog. #londonbrainproject