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Remembrance and The Expressive Arts: A Study Day

4 Candlelit 30X30

Friday 11 September 2015
Time: 9.30am-5pm
Venue: Theatre 227, Melbourne Graduate School of Education, 234 Queensberry Street (close to Lincoln Square and Queensberry Street tram stops, with some metred parking available on Queensberry Street, Carlton)

Registration and further information

This event will be FREE and a light buffet lunch with be provided.

International Guest Speaker

Dr Gary Ansdell, Director of Education,Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy Centre, London

Contributors include:

Award winning Australian writer, Arnold Zable

Professor Jane W. Davidson, Dr Sandra Garrido, Dr Angela Hesson, Professor Katrina McFerran and Dr Monique-Louise Webber all from The University of Melbourne

Dr Anne Riggs, Melbourne Artist and Community Facilitator.

For many people, 9/11 is a chilling date. It offers a profound memory, a stark ‘flashbulb’ image of where they were and what they were doing as the Twin Towers were attacked. How did the survivors of that terrible event cope? How useful were the expressive arts in finding comfort, expressing grief, remembering a loved one?

Whether remembering family members lost in a disaster, or even reminiscing about times with a teenage sweetheart, there is increasing evidence that the arts can function as useful technologies for emotional expression while also offering creative routes to recovery after trauma and loss. But more than this, for those living with dementia or dealing with mental health challenges, the expressive arts can offer a means of communication, solace, a moment of clarity and even reminiscence of happier times. They can be used as a tool to construct a day-by-day narrative and form a bridge between a remembered and a changed sense of self-identity.

Each participant and audience member is asked to bring a memento of special remembrance on the day. It could be an artwork (including digital music files), book, image, textile, jewelry or any other portable object. These articles will form the centre-piece of a group discussion that will be a vital element of the day. Also, with consent, each participant will have the opportunity to have their object photographed and take part in a brief audio interview sharing its history, symbolism and importance. Your remembered work will become part of a digital archive of the event that will be freely available to you following the event.

* If you are interested in participating in this activity, please note at the time of registration.

This innovative study day, which is open to scholars and the public alike, offers an opportunity to share research insights as well as critical reflection on practices and policies that engage the expressive arts for therapeutic uses in the act of remembrance.

The day will include presentations by musicians, artists, writers, therapists, psychologists and history of emotions scholars and will engage the audience assembled in debate and information exchange.

Registration: Places are essential and restricted. Please note if bringing a special remembrance object

Hosted by Australian Research Council’s Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions and The University of Melbourne.


Dr Gary Ansdell is one of the world’s leading scholars in the field of music therapy. He has worked with many client groups in the UK and Germany (currently in adult psychiatry) and has been involved in developing and researching Nordoff Robbins music therapy and its broader growth within the Community Music Therapy movement. In 2008 he was awarded the Royal Society for Public Health Arts & Health Award. He has written five books and published widely in the fields of music, music therapy and music and health/wellbeing.

Professor Jane W Davidson has published extensively in the disciplines of music psychology and performance. She is currently Deputy Director of the Australian Research Council’s Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions and Professor of Creative and Performing Arts (Music), The University of Melbourne.

Dr Sandra Garrido is a postdoctoral research fellow at the ARC’s Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions and the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music. Her research in music psychology focuses on understanding emotional response to music and the impact of music on health and wellbeing.

Dr Angela Hesson is a postdoctoral curatorial/research fellow at the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotion. She is currently working on an upcoming exhibition in collaboration with the National Gallery of Victoria, focussing on the subject of art and emotion (in particular love) in European society in the period 1400-1800.  Much of her research to date has examined theories of fetishism and their relationship to femininity, as well as to practices of collection and connoisseurship.

Professor Katrina McFerran is a music therapist dedicated to examining the therapeutic uses of music with young people across a range of settings including paediatric hospitals, special and mainstream schools, as well as community programs. She is a prolific publisher in both international and local refereed journals, both within the music therapy discipline and more broadly. She is Director of the National Music Therapy Research Unit at The University of Melbourne and Associate Dean Research for the Faculty of VCA&MCM.

Dr Anne Riggs is a practising visual and community artist interested in expressions of human trauma, loss and grief. She has worked with victims of abuse and vulnerable communities internationally. She teaches arts practice, creative thinking and expression. She is a lecturer at Chisholm Institute.

Dr. Monique Webber is an Honorary Fellow and adjunct faculty member with Classics and Archaeology at The University of Melbourne. Her current research inquires into the afterlife of monuments and objects, and its role in negotiating past and present societal concerns.

Dr. Arnold Zable is an acclaimed writer, novelist and human rights advocate. He has travelled extensively, living in US, India, PNG, Europe, India and China. He has been a guest lecturer in a range of universities in Australia and internationally, and has conducted workshops for diverse groups including asylum seekers, refugees, problem gamblers, the deaf and bushfire survivors using story as a means of self-understanding.He has a doctorate from the school of Creative Arts, Melbourne University where he recently completed a term as Vice Chancellor's fellow.

Image: ShinYoung An, Candlelit, 2011, Oil on Prepared Newspaper, Mounted on Canvas. © ShinYoung An