Documentation of a performance with a video projected onto the back-wall. It zooms-in to look at the performer, a gender non-binary (female-appearing person) with short dark hair, holding their right forearm up to cover part of their face. In their right hand they are holding a Bitalino board with white wires connecting to electrodes on their hand and chest. They are wearing a black t-shirt and black wrist support. The video projection behind them shows an electrode pad on the tip of a finger.
Sophie Hoyle, Electronic Body Music, 2018. Photo by Chooc Ly Tan.

Sophie Hoyle – Psychic Refuge

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 a one-day workshop in London exploring “invisible” disabilities and their treatment in the UK, and an eight-day research trip to Palestine including discussions with the Palestinian Counseling Center[sic] (PCC) and a one-day Trauma-Release Exercise (TRE) workshop by an invited TRE practitioner.

Both the workshop and the research trip aim 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. They will inform a collaborative public performance with Egyptian artist Khaled Kaddal at The Science Gallery, London as part of their Anxiety season (2019-2020). This performance will explore sound, embodiment and trauma, framed by discussions with scientists on how PTSD affects audio perception, and using neurofeedback technology.

This project is the Forma Partnership Award.