Psychic Refuge is a project led by artist Sophie Hoyle exploring mental health, trauma and its treatment in the UK and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), encompassing workshops, discussion, performance and a collaborative online resource.
Drawing from the artist’s lived experiences of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and from being part of the MENA diaspora, Psychic Refuge includes an eight-day research trip to Palestine and discussions with mental health NGOs to explore different forms of treatment for trauma including bodywork such as Trauma-Release Exercises (TRE). The project aims to generate dialogue between different perspectives on mental health and trauma, bridging the biomedical, theoretical and the personal, and grassroots activism and institutional approaches. This research will be used to generate a collective resource through an interactive website, made accessible through multimedia content and translated into Arabic and English.
The artist is also exploring the impact of sound in relation to trauma, framed by discussions with scientists on how PTSD affects audio perception, and using neurofeedback technology to inform an experimental performance piece.
This project is the Forma Partnership Award.