Reciprocal Loops: Uncritical Care

Angela Hodgson-Teall and Juliet Smith

Presented by Glanith & Klenz Arts
London College of Communication, March 2016

Blind drawing (eyes closed) with another, making Mobius strips or loops with only one side; rhythms from a cello and poems from Baudelaire, form trust of a challenging but empathic kind. The performance made social sculptures (as collaborative drawing event and performance) inspired by healthcare staff from a hospital in South-East London, where I have done extensive research into the tandem arenas of art and medicine. The practice uses splenic palpation, double blind drawing and Caminhando (walking with scissors along a Mobius strip), interactions of a challenging but empathic nature.

Both the experiments within the healthcare environment and those within the art establishment show the importance of a family or team based approach to empathy, as people engaged with one another through the processes, the results suggested that drawing was useful. The staff of the Trust not only enjoyed taking part in the research but also appreciated the arts research community coming to the hospital, and the opportunity for shared learning to take place in both institutions.

The groups have grappled with the changes in the collaborative working structures of the hospitals and this practice and research was found to be valuable in showing a way forward and giving a small space to which staff belong.