Conference 2015 – Dartington Hall

AMH 2015 Annual Conference: Dartington Hall June 23-25

Dangerous Currents: Risk and regulation at the interface of medicine & the arts


“I was really charmed, challenged and utterly delighted with the entire event, as much as I know some of those from the medical realm felt transformed during the duration of the conference, so did I. I learnt, listened and felt myself thoughtfully provoked and taught by a great many of the presentations and subsequent interactions and I know there will be a legacy of sensibility and awareness in my conciousness and I hope work as an artist. The tone you dignified the conference with was exceptional.” Kira O’Reilly. Performance artist

“The meeting was for me one of the most significant I ever attended; so many of the talks and conversations with people opened me to new conceptions and new perspectives. Thank you for your graciousness and your insightful observations.” Al Lingis. Philosopher, writer, traveller.

“I am still buzzing from an amazing conference. The highlight for me was Martin O’Brien’s performance. For me that is the absolute pinnacle of what the MH are all about. Mind Blown.” Ian Fussell, GP and medical educator.

”It was an absolute pleasure to contribute to and attend the conference. It’s always great to show work in a new context and the talks/screenings I was able to attend were indeed very interesting to me. Congratulations on such a successful conference. Laura Dannequin. Dancer, Choreographer, Performer

“The whole conference had a very friendly supportive feel to it.” Aaron Williamson. Performance Artist

“It was such a brilliant conference to be part of, some really interesting conversations starting to emerge between art and medicine. It seemed really productive and I had a hoot.” Martin O’Brien. Performance Artist.

“I thought that your conference was excellent – the location was idyllic, the mix of delegates made for some fascinating
dialogues and the inclusion of so much performance and live art was inspiring, and it felt necessary and important in the context. It was superbly well organised and ran like clockwork. You are a hard act to follow.” Gianna Bouchard, Principal Lecturer in Drama & Course Group Leader for Music and Performing Arts, Anglia Ruskin University

“I wanted to say how much I enjoyed the conference. It was great, a lovely venue … . And I got to see people I’d not seen all year and meet new and interesting folk.” Bridget MacDonald, Consultant Neurologist.

“Congratulations for a great conference! I am still on a high from it! Thank you for putting this together and making all of us welcome.” Natalie Beausoleil, Associate Professor of Social Sciences and Health, Memorial University, St John’s, NL, Canada.

“It was a tremendous conference. My favourite by far! A fantastic line up, venue, weather… I could go on and on.” Angela Hodgson-Teall, Doctor and Artist.

“The setting was both unique and spectacular, and the conference was one of the most original and stimulating conferences I have been to. Even now, I am still digesting much of what I had the good fortune to encounter in Dartington. Thank you for doing such important work in furthering the medical humanities. I really admire the extent to which you were willing to construct a program that took risks and invited the unexpected.” Vincent Lam. Intensive Care doctor and writer, Toronto, Canada.

“It was really stimulating and though at times uncomfortable, it was thought provoking. The setting was magical and a fantastic backdrop to the sessions.” Dusia Kneebone, Delegate

“Thanks so much. It was so strange suddenly being surrounded by performance people in that context. I felt very moved by the whole thing. Many congratulations on taking such a risk and being so generous and trusting”.  Suzy Willson. Theatre Director

“I wanted to say thanks once again for an amazing conference. I took in so much (that will take a long time to fully process!) and feel like my eyes have been opened to a lot of things I’d never previously noticed. I hope this will positively impact on any future doctoring I do!” Sangeetha Saunder 4th Year medical student

“I was honoured to be part of the conference-what a wonderful bunch of people! Congrats on a successful, provocative meeting. I especially loved the presence of artists.” Allan Peterkin. Psychiatrist and medical educator, Toronto.

“The conference was amazing and very inspiring! Congratulations! I actually cannot stop thinking about it all.” Dorothy Lehane. Poet

“I’m back in Australia and just wanted to say how much I enjoyed the AMH conference. It provided many thought-provoking, insightful and even profound moments, which I continued to ponder and discuss with my colleagues back here. The venue matched the calibre of the content making for an all-round very memorable and illuminating experience.
You should feel deservedly proud having organised and led such a conference.” Neville Chiavaroli. University of Melbourne Medical School.

“First I wanted to say a very belated thank you and many congratulations for putting on such a fantastic and original Medical Humanities Conference. I think the conference at Dartington got closer to a real integration of medicine and the arts and humanities than any before. I thought your pairing of medical and art practitioners worked really well and for once gave artists and performers an equal platform with medical professionals, all good in my book. I really appreciated the emphasis you placed on practice and the way it was woven into the central programme, which is a long way on from the early Medical Humanities Conferences, so thank you for that and thank you for involving us so fully in it. In all a wonderful conference!” Deborah Padfield, University College London.

Al Lingis and Adrian Heathfield + Allan Peterkin and Suzy Willson + Kira O’Reilly and Vincent Lam + Roger Kneebone and David Cotterrell + Aaron Williamson + Martin O’Brien + Laura Dannequin + Emily Underwood-Lee

Patient safety has become an important issue in medicine and healthcare leading to a regulatory culture of directives and protocols – but has regulation gone too far? Does excessive regulation stifle creativity or does it paradoxically generate new forms of innovation through resistance? Despite our concerns with ‘healthy lifestyles’, life is inherently risky and we purposefully seek risk against the grain of physical and mental ‘health’.

The arts typically celebrate such risk as a sign of innovation. Can radical arts practice interventions lead to a reframing of medical/ healthcare education and a rethinking of medical/ healthcare practice that allow for greater innovation? And does greater innovation mean accepting more risk and refusing regulation? Commissioned keynote presentations and workshops will address these questions, based on ‘live’, critical conversations primarily between doctors and performance artists/ artistic directors moving beyond the safety zone of ‘talking heads’ into riskier areas of improvised collaborations. Again, the key theme words are ‘risk’, ‘regulation’ and ‘resistance’ – the ‘three rs’ of contemporary critical inquiry.



We look forward to seeing you in June 2015!


AMH Conference Brochure-3



We look forward to seeing you in June 2015!

About the author: Leo Jauncey