A Clinically Useful Artwork? Between a Dialogical and a Relational Approach to Art in a Clinical Environment

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This paper discusses the process of introducing, developing and sustaining an art intervention into a clinical environment (hospital community), and integrating it with a clinical trial being conducted to evaluate its effect on patients. Three key issues needed to be addressed in this process. The first of these was how to implement an artwork in the clinical environment that was accountable in terms that were familiar to the art world and the medical community. The second was how to implement an artwork, which allowed the patient to be the arbiter of their own aesthetic experience and to keep them at the center of the experience in general. The third issue centered on the creation of an artwork that may have a clinically significant impact on the patient. With this in mind, the artist /curator developed a framework that facilitated the introduction of an art intervention into a clinical setting that addressed all three issues successfully. This framework can be regarded as a model for introducing art into any type of health care community context. It brings together the world of art and health care in a way that is accountable, inclusive and above all patient-centered.
This approach is contextualized by the emerging dialogue between a post-modern art practice, which has its foundations in both relational and dialogical aesthetics, and the modernist praxis of an Irish teaching hospital.


Keywords: A Dialogical and Relational Approach to Art in A Clinical Environment
Stream: Art in Communities
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: , , Clinically Useful Artwork?, A


Denis Roche

Artist/Curator, Open Window Project
Research Steering Committee, The Haughton Institute

Dublin, Ireland

Denis is an artist and composer.He is artist/curator of the Open Window Project,a three-year clinical trial investigating the impact of art on patients. Prior to this, he was in receipt of an Arts Council of Ireland, Artist in Residency Award and was a member of an advisory committee to the Arts Council on Art in Health matters.He was also the project leader in the Portraits of Pain project commissioned by Pfizer, Ireland
After studying classical guitar, Denis became a professional musician.He has composed music for Film, Contemporary dance and Theatre. In 2004 he travelled to Beijing,China for the performance of his soundtrack to the Salt Cycle, a collaboration with the National Ballet of China.

Ref: A07P0129