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The relationship between art and well-being

How does art affect mental health and wellbeing? In this article, speakers from different professions answer that question.
A photograph of three stones balanced on top of one another
© University of York

In the last activity, we encountered several examples of art that made people feel angry, dismissive or feel nothing at all.

Some of the students who disliked the new sculpture on their campus felt that it didn’t add enough value to their university experience. In this activity, we are going to explore the growing evidence that art in your immediate surroundings can positively contribute to mental health and wellbeing.

In this video produced by the Courtauld Institute of Art, you’ll hear from speakers from the fields of medicine, psychology and art history on the theme of ‘Art and Wellbeing’.

The speakers discuss ideas and examples of art therapy. Art therapy is a therapeutic practice that allows people to express their emotions by creating art.

This is an additional video, hosted on YouTube.

The second speaker, Michaela Ross discusses a recent exhibition that engaged with mental health patients. This is most relevant to our discussion of art and well being. Her talk starts at 23:33 and ends at 39:04.

Were you aware of the mental and physical health benefits that art can have? Have you experienced any of these yourself? In this video, the speakers spoke mostly about painting. Can you think of how sculpture might have a similar effect on people?

© University of York
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Modern Sculpture: An Introduction to Art History

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