What factors constitute and influence health and wellbeing? What might these feel like and how might they be envisaged? This line of enquiry has inspired and informed my practice as a visual artist over the last ten years.
During this period my sister died unexpectedly and my daughter was born, others close to me have been profoundly affected by dementia and depression and on a personal level I have undergone various medical procedures for suspected tumours.
These emotional experiences have aroused my curiosity in the contrasting resilience and fragility of life and the inter-connectedness of mind and body. I have sought to deepen my understanding of these through collaborative links with practitioners and academic researchers in such diverse fields as stress management, neuroscience and biochemistry.
My investigations have found creative expression via various printing techniques, paintings on board, perspex and paper and large drawing installations. These works explore neurologically dysfunctional states of mind, cellular/neural formations and the body’s energy fields using a combination of illustrative and abstract approaches.
I recently made a 5 minute sci-art video ‘Shine a Light’ which takes the viewer on an illuminated journey into the body and brain using personal scoping footage and scans, biomedical photography and my animated artworks.
This interaction of studio based art practice and collaborative relationship has spawned a number of projects involving the engagement of science with the community. Here art has proved an accessible forum for public discourse around challenging issues such as dementia, depression/anxiety, sleep disorders and regenerative medicine. These have typically involved exhibitions of my responses to these themes, art workshops and lectures / discussions with funding from participating schools, the University of Bath and Wellcome Trust.
I am currently exhibiting a series of paintings and drawings which celebrate human microbiology at the Royal United Hospital, Bath as part of ‘Sci-Art Synergy’ curated by the Royal Scientific Association .
Stephen Magrath is a visual artist who balances his time between his studio in Bath, UK and his work in the community leading art projects and teaching.
His drawings, paintings and prints are inspired by his interest in health and wellbeing and informed by related scientific research. They can be viewed in public buildings, the local hospital and university Psychology Department for example and the Wellcome Image Library.
He has degrees in both Social Psychology and Fine Art and has deepened his interest in the interconnectedness of mind and body through collaborations with practitioners and research scientists in the fields of stress management, neuroscience and cognitive psychology.
This interface of art and science also finds expression in his community art projects where he has received support from the Alzheimer Society, the University of Bath, local schools and Wellcome Trust to explore challenging public health issues like dementia, anxiety/depression , regenerative medicine and viral contagion .
Stephen also teaches art at the local Special Educational Needs School working with students with Downs, ASD, ADHD and Cerebral Palsy. This tends to be in a therapeutic context encouraging the interests and potential of each individual.
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