In-between-ness: Using art to capture the changes to the self during antidepressant treatment (2010 - 2013).

Location: Gwynedd Hospital, Bangor, Gwynedd, UK

Client: Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCU HB)

Partners: Bangor University, Glyndwr University & Leeds Metropolitan University

Research Team:  Artists – Dr Karen Heald and Dr Susan Liggett,  Scientists – Dr Richard Tranter, Professor Rob Poole and Professor Catherine A. Robinson.

Funders & Supporters:  Supported by Arts Council of Wales, and the North Wales Clinical School Research Department.

The In-between-ness pilot study was a novel collaboration between professional artists, clinical researchers and people suffering from depression; to extend the exploration of experiential effects of antidepressant treatment. The research team worked closely with the participants at the Hergest Psychiatrist Unit, Bangor to explore the effects of treatment for depression.

Paper Interior (performance), In-between-ness, Karen Heald & Susan Liggett, 2013.

Through this arts and science research pilot the collaborators Dr Richard Tranter, (Consultant Psychiatrist), Professor Rob Poole, (Professor of Social Psychiatry and Co-Director of the Centre for Mental Health and Society, UK), GP surgeries, and artists Susan Liggett and myself, explored if patient changes were reflected in the way people express themselves and respond to their environment prior, during and post antidepressant medication.

Paper Interior, duration 9' 20", Karen Heald & Susan Liggett (2013).

In addition to the aims of the psychiatrists, as artists, myself and Susan Liggett were keen to explore the role of preverbal language and creativity for patients navigating the ‘in-between-ness’ from depression to recovery through the creative use of video cameras.

Susan and I worked one-to-one with the participants to explore how their view of themselves changed as they recovered from depression. This involved seeing patients before, during and after their treatment. The participants were asked to respond to visual prompts seen in the photographs here which were introduced as a stimulus for the patients to make artworks using a video camera. Participants met with Susan and I on a weekly basis after having been administered medication by the trial psychiatrist.

Below are a selection of video stills from the participant's films.

The artworks, with consent, were displayed in exhibitions, discussed at conferences and formed part of an artist’s books made collaboratively between myself and the participants.

The response to the In-between-ness pilot study also involved me taking the practice outside of the clinical setting to other environments with my established collaborator, glass artist Chris Bird-Jones and dancer and choreographer Daisy Farris.

Fragmentary Chronicles, duration 3' 18", Bird-Jones & Heald, (2011-2012).

- in the heat of her breath, duration 7' 53", Karen Heald & Daisy Farris (2011-2012).

Poesy, duration 1' 44", Karen Heald & Daisy Farris (2011-2012).

Diapason, duration 2' 54", Karen Heald (2013).

Resonance, duration 2' 52", Karen Heald (2013).

For further information please visit the In-between-ness website at