Everyday Creativity: Discovery Process

NEA was jointly commissioned by two university research centres – the Centre for Arts and Wellbeing at the University of Brighton and the Sidney De Haan Research Centre for Arts and Health at Canterbury Christ Church University – to support a Discovery Process into the underpinnings of the relationship between everyday creativity and health & wellbeing.

The project set out to advance understanding of the concept and practice of everyday creativity and its connections to areas of social policy.  It advances the proposition that everyday creativity is an essential component of human experience, rooted in self-reflection and emotional connection to others.

The project investigates the links between everyday creativity and the development of consciousness, mentalization and self-organisation, and explores how everyday creativity can contribute to good mental health and empathetic relationships. It is premised on the view that new dialogue between the humanities and emerging scientific disciplines can support the growth of shared understandings of the central importance of everyday creativity to wellbeing, helping to elide the boundaries between the medical, social and cultural spheres.

In May 2020 Nick Ewbank published an article in Arts Professional exploring the links between health, everyday creativity, and the arts as they are current conceptualised. He argues that people’s experiences during the pandemic have brought to the fore the importance of broadening current narrow definitions of the arts in order to more fully support those struggling with social isolation, health inequalities and other forms of disadvantage.

Nick’s article can be accessed here: Paradigm shift

NEA supported a conference entitled Everyday Creativity: Towards an International Research Network which took place in Brighton on Monday 13 June 2022.

This was followed by a successful bid to the Arts and Humanities Research Council for a two year project to establish an Everyday Creativity Research Network. The Principal Investigator for the Network is Dr Helen Johnson, Co-Director, Centre for Arts and Wellbeing at the University of Brighton and the Co-Investigator is Prof Owen Evans, English and Creative Arts, Edge Hill University.

The Network is exploring four key themes:
1. The role of Everyday Creativity in enriching creative research methods (Lead: Dr Helen Johnson)
2. Everyday Creativity, the home and placemaking, including pandemic responses (Lead: Prof Owen Evans)
3. Everyday Creativity, health and wellbeing (Leads: Prof Louise Mansfield, Vice Dean Research, Brunel University and Prof Norma Daykin, Prof Emerita, UWE)
4. Arts, science and technology interfaces in Everyday Creativity (Theme lead Prof Sonia Contera, Biological Physics, Oxford University).

The blog for the Network can be found here:

Welcome to the AHRC Everyday Creativity Research Network


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