Arts and Health
Arts and Health, the journey of the technique...
Nadine’s long term desire has always been to develop her technique to support those less fortunate then herself, with a particular calling to support children who have lost the ability to speak due to trauma.
It was this desire that led VSI, in 2008, to approach Creative Scotland, Scotland’s national arts funding body, to initiate discussions on the best implementation of the work in the Arts & Health field. Nadine was invited to give a talk for staff at Creative Scotland where discussions evolved to the most practical placement of the work. It was decided that the most sensitive and responsible approach to research the resonance of the Nadine George Voice Work (NGVW) in this area, would be to work with expert professionals in the Arts & Health sector.
The first workshop was held in January 2009 and since then VSI has provided annual voice workshops for senior practitioners in the Arts & Health sector in Scotland and Europe. These workshops have been based in Glasgow, Scotland and were provided as professional development for the Arts & Health network, supporting participants’ personal practice, developing discussion amongst the network and enabling space for investigation and practical developments which could be channelled back to the clients these professionals work with.
The workshops have been viewed as an innovative and unique opportunity to meet, work and share and have significantly supported the Scottish Arts & Health network. The senior practitioners involved range from artistic directors of theatre and visual arts companies working in the health sector to health professionals such as consultants in forensic psychiatry and obstetrics.
In June 2011, Nadine was invited to be a keynote speaker at ‘Arts as Medicine: Exploring Arts in a Health Context’, a 3 day seminar held by Art in Hospital, The Medical Humanities Unit at Glasgow University and NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde. For a copy of Nadine’s talk, please click here.
As these workshops develop, we look forward to our continued support of the inspiring practitioners we have worked with. It is our hope that our work in partnership with these experts, using NGVW in alignment with existing practices, will develop to support those more vulnerable in our society.
VSI’s work has been kindly funded by Creative Scotland. We have worked in partnership with Art in Hospital and NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde.
Practitioners working with Nadine George (Photo © Susan Worsfold)
Below some Arts and Health workshop participants share their experiences....
Jackie Sands | Senior: Arts and Health
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde | Health Improvement and Public Health
I am fascinated and astonished at what this process reveals in the self and others. Having participated in a number of week long workshops, I felt and heard sounds which were among the most theatrical I have heard in a long time – deep and beautiful, sorrowful and murderous – raw, textural sounds and images which pierced the soul in a very emotional, archetypal way.
The workshop helped me to reconnect, which has given me a renewed confidence about my own capabilities and feel excited about my own creative destiny as well as love and respect for everyone else who took part.
My solar plexus has since become very alive in me. It seems to have opened up to the world. I feel calmer and more rooted, with a more open and relaxed posture.
Professionally, the work has helped me to understand and appreciate my own and others immense capabilities and how this knowledge can underpin tenacity and control when faced with challenges and adversity in my role within NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde. This work helps to improve confidence - for public speaking and meetings.
I would recommend this process to professional groups who would like to find a way to connect and work together more effectively, frontline health staff such as nurses and caregivers, marginalised groups - asylum seekers, people with disabilities, people who have experienced abuse or trauma.
This work could be utilised for reducing stigma, giving voice, promoting recovery, love and acceptance and help individuals to improve confidence and self-esteem. The process does in my opinion help to improve feelings of health and wellbeing. Voice Studio is a humanising force for change.
Fiona Miller | Artistic Director, Tricky Hat Productions
Working with Nadine and VSI since 2009 has informed the work I do in a huge way. The influence of the voice sessions goes way beyond the time we actually spend working with the technique. It enlivens, energises and empowers. My involvement in this work has supported me to do, in both my professional and personal life, things never thought possible. It is part of my life now.
Magdalena Schamberger | Artistic Director & CEO of Hearts & Minds
I have over 20 years of experience using clowning, physical theatre and movement to connect with participants on a very profound level. Voice and breath, had - until Nadine’s workshops – eluded me, at least on a conscious level.
I work in an environment where the focus is always on the individual participant and how to use the performing arts to help each individual communicate and shine in spite of any health problems, mental health challenges or disabilities. Nadine’s approach has provided me with the missing link in my theatre practice, arts-in-health teaching, as well as in the engagement with individuals in the delivery of activities.
On a practical level, I have used Nadine's breathing work as a warm up for rehearsals and in my work as an Elderflower practitioner when looking for connections with elderly people with advanced dementia, as well as with children and young people with complex special needs or who have gone though traumatic experiences. I use breathing as a starting point for creating authentic connection, engagement and exchange, particularly with those people who cannot or no longer communicate with words, which we are able to understand. Giving and receiving at it's most profound level.
In addition as an Artistic Director, CEO and arts-in-health practitioner I often forget to look after myself and nourish my own artistic needs and skills. Over the past 4 years, Nadine's work has regularly and skillfully reconnected me with the creativity and possibilities within.
I highly recommend an encounter with Nadine. You and your voice will be in very safe and creative hands.
For further information about Arts and Health workshops please email VSI Associate Susan Worsfold:
Copyright Voice Studio International 2007