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Home Media Events Visualising Pain

Visualising Pain


Date: 30/04/2019

Visualising Pain

Pain is subjective and very difficult to communicate or share. Feeling misunderstood and not believed is a frequent sentiment expressed by those who live with pain. During this visualising pain workshop we will try to give visual and verbal form to pain to make it more sharable and understandable to others. We will explore the experiences of those with different relationships to pain including people with pain, their carers, families and healthcare professionals. It is important to us that clinicians as well as patients and carers attend these events. The workshop aims to create a space where we can share our different perspectives and learn from each other. Nothing is wrong, nothing is right, all that matters is capturing the truth of each person’s experience. The session will include a range of activities such as short writing exercises, mind-mapping, mark-making, painting, working with mixed media and photographing. You do not need to have any experience of art, photography or writing, you just need to come with an open mind and be prepared to have a go. You are invited to bring an object with you that can act as a starting point for a series of photographs which express your relationship to pain or of treating those in pain and how release from that pain might feel. The workshop builds on previous work carried out by Deborah Padfield at St Thomas’ and University College Hospitals London (UK) co-creating photographs which represent people’s unique experience of pain and running art workshops and events for patients and clinicians to attend together.* A selection of images from both hospitals have been integrated to form a pack of large playing cards with images on them (PAIN CARDS) and piloted in real pain consultations where other patients found them helpful in improving communication and rapport between themselves and their doctor. This unique workshop is part of a new pilot project where Deborah will be joined by participatory methods and disability specialist Dr Mary Wickenden (Sussex University, UK) in collaboration with Dr Satendra Singh, India’s foremost expert in medical humanities and participatory creative practices (UCMS, Delhi), Dr Anubha Mahajan, the founder of Chronic Pain India, India’s only pain survivor network, (Delhi, India) and international artist Himani Gupta (Delhi, India) supported by artist and facilitator Mariana Gomes Gonçalves (alumni Slade School of Fine Art, UCL, UK). The workshop is part of a knowledge exchange project, funded by HEIF, UK to capture the experiences of people from both the UK and India with a range of perspectives on pain and explore what, across two cultures and as people with diverse relationships to pain, we can learn from each other. If you take part in the workshop you will be helping us create material on which we can build to develop a larger project offered to more people and on a larger scale in India, the UK and beyond. Please remember to bring an object with you that has some quality that relates to your pain, for example it may have a colour, texture, surface, association, symbolism etc that you associate with pain. Please also bring a signed version of the consent form attached to this letter with you (copies will also be available on the day). Please contact Anubha Mahajan if you have any questions: chronicpainindia@gmail.com We look forward to meeting you on the 5th May and hope that you will also be able to attend an event on 10th May. Here we will celebrate what we have created and learned together and share these with a wider group of people as a beginning of raising awareness of chronic pain and its impact on people’s lives. We would like to thank you in advance for your time and your commitment. Thank you. NB: Please note that the workshop will start promptly on time. Refreshments and lunch will be provided. Travel costs to and from the venue will be reimbursed. The face2face project on which this workshop builds received ethics approval from the Royal Marsden Ethics Committee MREC: 09/H0801/51

* for further information see:  https://www.ucl.ac.uk/encountering-pain/past-projects