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Wednesday 28 July 2021

13:00pm - 15:30pm


Led by STEAMhouse members and academics who share a common interest in the exploration of new ways of using digital arts to understand, enhance and teach about therapeutic, interpersonal, integrative and healing relationships, this event aims to share ideas and invite others to create a community of practice around these issues.

Using a range of digital and artistic approaches the artists, producers and health professionals who will share their projects are all working to develop innovative approaches from the understandings of counselling to the education of new care workers. We’ll explore their diverse practices in more detail through a series of short presentations, before inviting attendees to share their thoughts as we explore ideas for future directions. 


Amelia Hawk’s presentation A Space for Exhausted voices will focus on recent projects which seek to create new spaces to share feelings, emotions and thoughts through conversation and releasing tension.  Amelia is an artist exploring connections between art practice and counselling strategies, by making new spaces for conversation that isn’t afraid, and is happily political.

She is currently developing a phoneline called the Listening Line that aims to create a space for exhausted voices to be heard. Amelia has an ongoing podcast series called Otherwise Silent raising the voices of people and issues that aren’t often heard. She regularly performs and exhibits across the UK and Norway (where she studied her MA at Kunstakademiet in Oslo). Notably, she has exhibited at National Gallery, Prague; Intercultural Museum, Oslo; Luda Gallery, St Petersburg; and performed in numerous international festivals such as SPILL Festival and The Festival of Northern Norway. In 2020 Amelia started training to be a counsellor. She is a STEAMhouse member. 

Allie Joy will be showing a video piece that combines art, music and science to restore the nervous system. Allie is a digital artist and creative director of Syntropy States who have created a series of audio-visual breathing pacers and relaxation aids that combines art, music and breathwork to help balance the nervous system and reduce anxiety. These are currently being used as tools in tandem with education/therapeutic programs, as well as personal practices. She is a STEAMhouse member. 

Wanjiku Nyachae’s interest is in using tech-mediated audio-visual simulations of psychedelic phenomena to stimulate feelings of enhanced mood and a heightened sense of wellbeing in the viewer/participant. Wanjiku currently combines psychotherapeutic practice with developing and delivering arts-led, tech-mediated projects for wellbeing through CascadeSciArts C.I.C. She continues to work across art forms as a facilitator, coach, producer and curator. 

A NESTA Innovation Fellow on the Clore Leadership Programme (2009/10) and published author, she is a STEAMhouse member, a Fellow at BOM (Birmingham Open Media), Birmingham, and a Trustee for Artswork.  Wanjiku’s formal qualifications include training and working as an Economist, and MA’s in Creative Writing and Gestalt Psychotherapy. In 2018 she completed an MSc. in Addictions Studies at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience (IoPPN, Kings College London).  Her current project builds on her dissertation which investigated claims by artists in the 1960’s that certain types of audio and visual stimuli in particular contexts could open portals to altered states of consciousness. She is a STEAMhouse member. 

Michela Reghellin is exploring digital body maps to support therapy and provide an additional space for clients to reflect and to work on their therapeutic process. Michela is a Dance and Movement Psychotherapist (ADMP UK). She works in a variety of settings and works with clients who have suffered from trauma, emotional abuse and special needs. Her approach is person centred and she uses body work, movement and creative methodologies to enhance clients physical and mental well-being. Currently she is exploring the use of digital tools for therapy work. In particular, she is developing an approach to combine the Body Mapping approach used in Dance and Movement Psychotherapy with technologies. The aim is to explore how digital body maps can support therapy and provide an additional space for clients to reflect and to work on their process. 

Dr Andrew Walsh will discuss his recent research around facial recognition and empathy particularly exploring future directions for this work. Andrew is a Senior Lecturer in Mental Health Nursing at BCU’s Faculty of health and Life Sciences and he is also seconded to BCU STEAMhouse.  Andrew is interested in using digital technology to explore individual empathic responses, he is generally interested in exploring the role of technology to explore and to enhance interpersonal interactions.