Self-harm is often thought to be a modern epidemic, associated with new understandings of selfhood and identity, mass media and the internet and the challenges of adolescence. But what can we learn from the history of a phenomenon that was first categorised over 150 years ago? And how can art and literature inform our understanding of mental health and illness? Join a panel of speakers to debate art, history, culture and self-harm for the launch of ‘Psyche on the Skin: A History of Self-Harm’ by Dr Sarah Chaney.
This event is fully booked (other than to invited attendees). More tickets may be made available in early February.
Copies of the book will be available for purchase on the night, with a 20% discount (RRP is £20).
Speakers: Sarah Chaney, Liz Atkin and Clare Shaw. Panel Chair: Ian Hulatt
Liz Atkin is an internationally acclaimed visual artist and advocate based in London. Compulsive Skin Picking dominated her life for more than 20 years, but art has become her greatest tool for recovery. Liz reimagines the body-focused repetitive behaviour of skin picking into photographic artworks, charcoal drawings and performances. Her work has been exhibited in the UK, Australia, Singapore, USA and Japan. She has given public talks for TEDx, Wellcome Collection and at a range of conferences and health events around the world.
Most recently Liz was on an advocacy trip in Singapore for 2 weeks, creating free #CompulsiveCharcoal drawings, and sharing her story in talks at Universities and Hospitals. A film about her trip by Channel News Asia was viewed 150,000 in the first 24 hours.
Clare Shaw was born in 1972 in Burnley, the youngest of six children, and moved to Liverpool at the age of 18 to study politics. Her years in the city were marked by frequent admissions to psychiatric wards, which motivated her to become involved in working to improve mental health services. In her work, postgraduate study, publications and activism, she has become a recognised voice on women's mental health issues. She lives in West Yorkshire, and works in a self-harm awareness training partnership with her sister. Described by Carol Ann Duffy as "one of the best new young readers on the circuit", Clare is a popular and engaging reader of her own work. She has two collections from Bloodaxe, Straight Ahead (2006), which was shortlisted for the Glen Dimplex New Writers' Award for Poetry, and attracted a Forward Prize Highly Commended for Best Single Poem, and Head On (2012).
Image courtesy of Liz Atkin.