#MoreCultureLessMedicine – 12 June 2019

Poster for More Culture Less Medicine event

Despite rapid advances in healthcare we are living more years with health conditions – and can’t treat our way out of this crisis. Health and arts practitioners from Brighton & Hove led a discussion on how the arts can provide a solution for creating health and wellbeing for people and communities.

The latest Brighton & Hove Public Health report ‘The Art of Good Health’ asks ‘Should we look closer at the role of arts in health?’. There is a growing base of evidence that the arts can have a positive impact on health and wellbeing at all stages of life.

If the city is to become a Centre of Excellence for Arts, Health and Wellbeing, there are some challenging questions we need to ask:

  • What is good practice in Arts, Health and Wellbeing?
  • What do we really mean by social prescribing?
  • Who is going to pay for it?
  • How can the impact be properly measured?
  • How is success measured?
  • Who should be leading this – arts or health sector?
  • How should we support the most vulnerable?
  • What are the logistics of making it work?
  • Where do we place individual responsibility for wellbeing?

The evening, thanks to the RSA, Brighton & Hove City Council and Brighton University, brought together different perspectives from the city.

More Culture Less Medicine – Part 1

More Culture Less Medicine – Part 2

More Culture Less Medicine – Part 3



Chair: Alistair Hill
Alistair is the Director of Public Health for Brighton and Hove and is responsible for providing leadership to improve and protect the health of local people, working in partnership with communities and organisations across the city. The 2018 Public Health Annual Report “The Art of Good Health” highlighted the impact the arts have on health and wellbeing, where we do well as a city and how we have the potential to become a centre of excellence.

Dr Laura Marshall Andrews
Dr Laura Marshall Andrews is the senior clinical partner at Brighton Health and Wellbeing Centre, a large GP practice and integrated care centre in Brighton. She won GP Innovator of the Year in 2014, and BHWC was a finalist in the NHS Kate Granger Compassionate Care Awards in 2016. The Hera Project delivers artist-led creative programmes for patients, which uniquely in the UK take place within the primary care setting, so are suitable for all patients including the most vulnerable. Laura is a regular speaker in the media on integrated health care.

Jo Crease
Jo Crease is Chief Executive Officer of Impetus, an award-winning loneliness and isolation charity that creates connections that change lives. We do this through our befriending, social prescribing and volunteering services in Brighton, Hove and beyond, and by sharing our ideas and expertise nationally. In a city of nearly 300,000, no one should be lonely or socially isolated. We’ve been supporting people to make life changing connections for more than twenty years. We’ll keep doing so until everyone has someone they can count on. Jo has spent most of the last 21 years working in or with charities of all sizes, weaving her way from promoting adult education, to helping community groups fundraise for everything from playgrounds to sewing machines, via work on accessibility in a Melbourne hospital and a stint in government at Westminster. Her favourite job is her current one; leading a team of expert, committed, caring team of 25 staff and over 400 volunteers at Impetus who work to tackle the often invisible issues of loneliness and isolation.

Vikki Parker
Vikki is an Intuitive Artist, Writer, Speaker & Theatre Practitioner in Brighton, who expertly weaves her personal experiences, creativity and natural spiritual gifts into a narrative of mental health advocacy through the re-imagining of the dissociated and fragmented self. Having trained as an actor and taught drama in schools for 16 years, she went on to train at the Institute for Arts in Therapy & Education in the therapeutic application of the Arts. She speaks and blogs regularly about her lived experience and personal journey with the arts and is dedicated to the empowerment of the individual to harness their own innate creativity and resources to support their own wellbeing. She is the founder of Soul Sofa, a multi-arts retreat initiative dedicated to promoting arts engagement in the community. She is the curator of the Brighton Creativity & Wellbeing week.

Duncan Bullen
Duncan is Deputy Head of the School of Art at the University of Brighton, where he has responsibility for leading Research and Enterprise. Duncan’s own research interests are grounded in the materiality of manual drawing. He is mainly concerned with tactile, repetitive, reductive, non-representational drawing strategies which he aligns with the practice of mindfulness meditation. Duncan is interested in how drawing mindfully may communicate spatially and physically as a means to trace the immediacy of lived experience, through tactile, sensory and contemplative engagement with the world. With this comes an interest in arts-health and the interchange between well- being and well-doing in which the lived body, mind and environment are part of the same process of phenomenologically enacting one’s world at a transactional, integrated and visceral level.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email