A Bird in a Gilded Cage

Clive Parkinson, Director of Arts for Health at Manchester Metropolitan University

Commissioned and published by ixia

About the author:
Clive Parkinson is the director of Arts for Health at Manchester Metropolitan University and chair of the National Alliance for Arts, Health and Wellbeing. An advocate for the field, he is also currently engaged in strategic development in the field in Lithuania, Italy and Turkey and is embarking on a 3-year AHRC funded research project exploring the place of the visual arts in creating dementia-friendly communities. He is co-curating an exhibition at Manchester’s Holden Gallery this summer. Mortality: Death and the Imagination will explore the relationship between contemporary visual art and how we live and die. He regularly blogs at: http://artsforhealthmmu.blogspot.co.uk/

Introduction:
In a post-Francis* world where institutional neglect and cruelty towards some of our most vulnerable citizens has been exposed, A Bird in a Gilded Cage suggests that the arts might offer something of an antidote to the way we support people affected by memory loss. A gentle polemic that sweetly kicks the ankles of those obsessed with understanding the impact of the arts on human wellbeing through crude pseudo-scientific measurements, placing creativity, culture and the arts at the heart of a conversation about quality of life.

*The final report into the care provided by Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust. The Inquiry Chairman, Robert Francis QC, concluded that patients were routinely neglected by a Trust that was preoccupied with cost cutting, targets and processes and which lost sight of its fundamental responsibility to provide safe care. His final report is based on evidence from over 900 patients and families who contacted the Inquiry with their views. http://www.midstaffsinquiry.com/index.html

Click here to view the black and white easy read version.

Click here to view the full colour emotive version.