Art and Wellbeing
Wellbeing is being widely talked about in mental health, education and community arts services. Aidan Gray’s talk will look at the science and anthropology behind wellbeing. Why the arts work with wellbeing, why we need the arts so badly and why to make, play and tell are quintessential human characteristics. Six million years in just over an hour whilst drinking a couple of pints, can’t be bad.
Aidan Gray studied at Cardiff School of Art and East Carolina University where he was lucky enough to encounter lecturers who inspired him and taught him how to think. In the 1980’s the freedom found with this teaching led him to become one of the UK’s first sound artists and consequently one of the first sound artists not to be recognised by the Arts Council.
In between making unrecognisable art he worked in the drug and alcohol field where he specialised in working with stimulant drugs. Of note during this time was the development of the UK’s first crack cocaine services, a controversial briefing written for Tony Blair (not used) and the development of a national CBT programme for methamphetamine in the Czech Republic. He was Head of Art for Hum London where he combined his understanding of addiction neurology with his knowledge of the arts in working with people recovering from dependency.
He has exhibited nationally and internationally and notably once taught the Afghan Minister for Health how to play pool, whilst drinking brandy and smoking.