The Capitol acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. We respectfully acknowledge their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. We also acknowledge the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business.
This event is part of The Big Anxiety Speaker Series, co-presented by RMIT Culture and The Wheeler Centre

Brain Storms: Creativity and Mental Health

Join a panel of artists as they discuss their approaches and responsibilities when crafting creative depictions of mental health.  

In any year, around 1 in 5 Australians will experience a common mental health disorder, but cultural depictions of mental health can fail to grasp the complexities of its felt experience. This panel features creatives who have used their art to explore this issue that is at once ordinary and obscure. With host Stéphanie Kabanyana Kanyandekwe the panel will explore the way their recent work innovatively engages with the reality of complex mental health experiences, whether implicitly or explicitly. 
Discussing the mechanics of representing the lived experience of mental health challenges and creating depictions that are authentic and relatable, yet free from stereotype or reduction, this will be an expansive conversation about the ways in which art can be used to explore and better understand the nuances of mental health. 


Artist Biography


Stéphanie Kabanyana Kanyandekwe is a Rwandan-British composer and multidisciplinary storyteller and broadcaster working between Narrm/Melbourne, and Rwanda. Multiple forms of synaesthesia add a neurodiverse dimension to Stephanie’s identity as a third culture individual. Stéphanie’s research-based practice explores the construction and archiving of culture through transcription into experiential narratives. Stéphanie writes and presents Passenger, a weekly show on the ABC Classic radio station. In Passenger, Stéphanie takes the audience on a journey through matching storytelling with the art music of different destinations and cultures across the world. Stéphanie has held residencies across multiple disciplines, including with Torika Bolatagici’s Community Reading Room project as Reader In Residence, and as part of the Forum of Sensory Motion’s series of travelling residencies. Stéphanie has been commissioned to work with organisations such as NGV, Liquid Architecture, Arts Centre Melbourne, Musica Viva, MONA, ArtsHouse, ArtPlay, Next Wave Festival, Seventh Gallery, Noir Darkroom and Gaffa Gallery. 


Daniel Regan is a UK based photographic artist exploring complex emotional experiences, focusing on the transformational impact of arts on mental health, building on his own lived experience. His work focuses on themes of wellbeing and brokers dialogue around often taboo topics. He shoots commissions, personal works, delivers socially engaged projects and provides consultancy in arts & health. Daniel is Founder and Executive Director of the Arts & Health Hub, a UK non-profit organisation supporting artists that work in the arts and health sector. His particular interest and focus is on practitioner support for artists with lived experience of mental health difficulties. Previously Daniel worked as the Director of an arts and health charity in the National Health Service in London.