Drawing from Life is the third workshop in the ‘Elephant in the Room’ series, a collaboration between the Pharmacy and Art departments at the University of Reading Health and Arts Research Initiative (HARI). Elephant in the Room explores how arts could facilitate conversations about alcohol use.

The HARI team were joined by two guest presenters:

  • Mark Holmes (a Registered Mental Health Nurse) gave an overview of his work using technology to reach drinkers through online coaching  Humankind Charity
  • Dr Louise Younie (a GP and Clinical Senior Lecturer at QMUL, and Founder of Creative Enquiry) described her creative practice including working with medical students.

This workshop was the first to be held remotely. Over 50 participants signed up for the 2 hour event, which included music, presentations, drawing and group discussions. Dr Ranjita Dhital introduced the HARI team and gave an overview on alcohol use in the UK. Participants then heard three pieces of soundart commissioned by art students from Reading School of Art: Danai Theodoropoulou (Art and Psychology), Lindsey Jones (Fine Art), and Lisa Barnard (Art PhD). The pieces were inspired by the theme of drinking during Covid 19, and workshop participants were invited to draw, doodle or scribble whatever came to mind while listening to each track.

Some participants posted their art work on Padlet you can view here https://padlet.com/purplestars/mu1ycvv5bzohrt3v

After sharing some examples of their work, participants were invitehttp://Drawing from Lifed to continue to drawing during the two guest presentations, then joined small groups to discuss the experience and contribute to a wordcloud to reflect the themes of their discussions.