MA Multi-Disciplinary Printmaking Student (current student, graduating 2021), University of the West of England
‘Who’s Caring for You?’ is an arts research project exploring the wellbeing of healthcare staff in and around Bristol. Ten healthcare workers were given creative tasks as a means of considering their understanding of the word ‘care’ and as a way of sharing the objects, places, people and activities that support the care that they provide for themselves. The research is currently being used to inform a series of artworks made by MA student Emma Brown.
‘Who’s Caring for You?’ commenced in June 2020 in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic and this presentation will examine the impact that this has had on the work so far. The project has been challenging in unexpected ways; initial plans and aims were established prior to the pandemic and a number of adaptations had to be made in order to safely work with participants. These adaptations shifted the focus of the research and this has created further challenges in interpreting and responding to the information provided by the participants. This presentation will discuss the ethical issues surrounding working with healthcare staff during Covid-19, as ethical guidance shaped the activities that they took part in. It will also address the difficulties of remotely working with and supporting participants and consider the consequences of isolation for all parties involved. Finally, the presentation will review the creative work currently being made in response to the research and investigate the continuing impact of Covid-19 on this stage of the project.
Emma Brown is an illustrator and artist currently studying MA Multi-Disciplinary Printmaking at the University of the West of England in Bristol, UK.
In July 2019 she took part in the Taking Time/Prendendo Tempo residency in Italy with the Museum of Loss and Renewal and used the opportunity to explore her personal interpretation of the relationship between art, health and wellbeing. This exploration into arts and health has continued throughout her MA studies and, along with research into votive objects, has underpinned much of her creative outputs during the past eighteen months. This field of interest is a significant influence on her current project ‘Who’s Caring for You?’ where the focus shifts away from her personal experiences and is now directed towards understanding and interpreting the wellbeing of healthcare workers.
Emma primarily uses traditional printmaking either in-part or as her sole means of image-making as she values the connection with materials and the often-therapeutic qualities of the physical processes involved in plate preparation and printing.