'If They Spend the Time to Get to Know Me'

Sydney Facial Nerve Clinic expands interdisiplinary model to include contemporary artist

25 November 2019
Recognising the link between the arts and health interventions
University of Sydney PhD student Vic McEwan, who is currently undertaking research in the Discipline of Physiotherapy, shares his art at the Big Anxiety Festival, Australia’s largest mental health festival.
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The Big Anxiety brings together artists, scientists and communities to question and re-imagine the state of mental health in the 21st century.

On the eve of the launch of the first-ever World Health Organization report on the evidence base for arts and health interventions, which includes a synthesis of over 900 publications covering over 3000 studies, University of Sydney PhD Candidate Vic McEwan shares his artwork 'If They Spend the Time to Get to Know Me' as part of the Big Anxiety Festival (image above).

The work that Vic has made is the first creative output of a practice-led PhD candidature during his enrolment at the Faculty of Health Sciences in the Discipline of Physiotherapy, as an experimental contemporary artist.

This unique proposition is being supervised by Dr Susan Coulson who has facilitated Vic to undertake observation and research at the Sydney Facial Nerve Clinic.

Dr Susan Coulson and and Vic McEwan

Dr Susan Coulson and and Vic McEwan showcasing his artwork 'If They Spend The Time to Get to Know Me'.

His supervisory team includes Dr Paul Dwyer, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Dr Claire Hooker, Faculty of Medicine and Health and international associates Dr Clive Parkinson and Prof Gabrielle Ivinson (Manchester Metropolitan University).

Vic’s work is a collaboration with allied healthcare practitioners, researchers, surgeons and patients from the Sydney Facial Nerve Clinic, exploring the lived experience, stigmas and processes of care associated with facial nerve paralysis.

In March 2020 Vic will take these initial creative outputs to a 3 week residency at The Tate, Liverpool as part of his research process.

Vic previously exhibited his work ‘The Harmonic Oscillator’ at the Tate in 2017 following a 3 year residency at the Alder Hay Children’s Hospital, UK.

Through his candidature, Vic will explore what role a contemporary artist might make as part of an interdisciplinary care team through working directly with patients.

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