Thinking Creatively in Art and Wellness with Max Montalvo, Eve Blouin-Hudon and Allison Morehead


Art and Wellness Speaker Series
23 October 2020, 1–3 pm

“Play for Creativity and Wellbeing” with Eve Blouin

In this evidence-based talk, participants will learn that creativity is a process with distinct stages, and that each stage of this process can be used as a tool for wellbeing. We will explore the creative process through the psychology of play as play allows for a curious, non-judgmental exploration of the self.

Eve Blouin-Hudon, PhD, is a positive psychologist and expert on creativity and imagination. She is a university instructor at Carleton University in the Department of Psychology, where she teaches courses on creativity, play, and innovation. She is also the founder of Bevy Creative, a consulting agency delivering evidence-based workshops, talks, and one-on-one tools to both individuals and organizations.

“Thing Provocations” with Allison Morehead

Allison will discuss how she has used a playful practice of “thing provocations” in both art museums and medical museums. Rooted in avant-garde art practices such as Dada and Fluxus, “thing provocations” animate new conversations, new encounters, and new relationalities among people, spaces, and things, including things designated and not designated as art.

Allison Morehead, PhD, Associate Professor of Art History and Cultural Studies at Queen’s University, studies the links between modern art and the medicalization of modern life. Her pedagogical practice, including work in the critical medical humanities, emphasizes first-person encounters and interactions with things in the world, both art and non-art.

“The Physician as an Artist” with Max Montalvo

Gesture drawing can be used as an innovative arts-based method for medical trainees to help develop a more holistic approach to clinical medicine and to deepen the physician’s appreciation of patient experiences.

Max Montalvo, MD, is an award-winning visual artist and a practicing emergency room physician in Kingston, Ontario. He has directed and produced music videos for various Canadian musicians, most notably The Tragically Hip, earning the Much Music best rock/alternative video award for the band’s single ‘In A World Possessed By The Human Mind’ (2017). Further collaboration with the Hip produced the short film ‘Raspoutine’, an inside-the-studio look at the band’s album recording process and ‘161!’, an online visual poem that explores human perception. Montalvo directed his first feature length film, ‘El Payo’ (2009), a documentary chronicling the tragic story of David Phillips, an obscure and influential non-gypsy guitarist who spawned a vibrant flamenco culture still thriving across Canada. The documentary received the People’s Choice award at the Bay Street Film Festival (2010) and the Royal Reel Award at the Canada International Film Festival (2010).

Montalvo blends his passion for the arts with his role as a physician. He is actively involved in the use of visual art, film and sound in medical education, creating a series of short films that have been used in the Faculty of Emergency Medicine at Queen’s. Several medical conferences have featured his workshops, guiding participants in the use of the short-film genre as a novel method of medical teaching. Montalvo appeared as a guest on CBC’s White Coat Black Art in the episode ‘Where art and medicine meet’.…Art and Wellness Speaker Series
23 October 2020, 1–3 pm



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2020. >> Shannon Brown: Okay it’s 1 o’clock. Welcome everybody. It’s


nice to see you here today. Thank you so much for joining us. We’re just going to wait for people to start


coming in and I love seeing all these people from all over. We have someone from Dublin, Ohio. We also have


Jennifer from Edmonton and Miki from Kingston. We have our panellists here. From Columbus Ohio, Erin,


welcome and Erin from Lafayette California. It’s so exciting. This is my feafort to see everyone coming


from everywhere. Isabel from the South shore of Montreal, welcome everyone. This is our last in our four-part


series, art and wellness speaker series. We’re thrilled with all the speakers and the information and all


the sharing that we have gathered. It has been an emotional ride as well, because when we speak about wellness,


everybody wants to feel well, and these are really great ideas that we’re sharing, and our panellists have for


us to incorporates arts into our wellness, into ourself care. And into our day to day whether it’s through


our work or study or creativity. Interests always that aspect of wellness we can tap into. Erin partridge says so grateful for what you’ve been sharing with the world through the series. It has been


wonderful. Thank you, Erin, so nice to hear. We appreciate you being here. Susan Bens iston warm from greetings


from Toronto from Susan. And we’re just at 1:01. We’ll probably wait another men or so, then we’ll begin.


We have a great panel today. And I’ll be sproa do you saying everybody shortly. I also wanted to mention


that we have a couple of other events coming up that I thought you might like to know about. We have been


hosting an art hive program for the last I would say two years, and it has been very successful. We have had


approximately 600 people coming through our art hive originally in person and then we pivoted to an online platform. We still have a number of online art hives available so if you wanted to


join us, it is free. Accessible. Anyone can join from anywhere. These are Thursdays from 4 to 5:30 and they


go until the 12th of November. So feel free to look on our website and you can join us at any time. It’s not


just for Kingston people. It’s for anyone who would like to join us. We also have a program we have been


hosting called deep looking. Deep looking is a meditative practice of deep observation, of art work, often


people will take up to 30 second and no more to look at art works generally scientists have noted this when


studying people in museums. So with deep looking we allow people to really get deep with beautiful art works from


our Agnes collection and our exhibitions. Our next one is on the 17th of November at lunch hour. Do


join us. So a couple more people have joined us. Please for anyone who hasn’t


added their location in the chat box, please do. We would love to hear where you’re coming from, where you’re


joining us from. We can’t see you, but we know you’re out there, it’s lovely to see you. Hi, Rishia from


Burlington. We have someone from Hamilton. Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Hello. Somebody is asking if we could


share social media handles for the panellist if they want us to tag them. Could you share links to the deep


looking? Absolutely. I’m hoping maybe Maddi can put up the deep looking and the art hive. Thank you,


Charlotte. We have Natalie from Washington and someone from North Bay joining us.


Welcome, welcome. I’m going to jump right in. And I’ll start with the land acknowledgment.


Before we begin, I wish to acknowledge that Queen’s University and Agnes Etherington Art Centre are situated on


traditional Anishinaabe territory. To acknowledge this territory is to recognize its longer history one


predating the establishment of the earliest European colonies. It is also to acknowledge this territory’s significance for the Indigenous people who lived and continue to live upon it. People whose practice’s and


spiritualities were and are tied to the land, and continue to develop in relationship to the territory and its


other inhabitants today. The Kingston Indigenous community continues to reflect the areas Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee roots. There is also a significant Métis community and there are First Peoples from other nations


across Turtle Island present here today. This beautiful land, the trees, the


three waterways nearby, the animals, the bird are an inspiration, and a solace during these difficult times.


And we are grateful and privileged to be able to live, work, play, create and heal in our communities on this land.


And I urge you all to spend some time researching and reflecting on the land that you are coming from, and to


consider your own positionality on this land and how you can contribute to the work of decolonizing your institutions


and minds. There is still a lot of work to be done. So, welcome to the Art and Wellness


Speaker Series. We are thrilled to have three special guests today. We will be going from one person to the


next, and then at the very end we’ll have a short 15 minutes for Q and A. So please if you do have questions for


any of our panellists put them into the Q and A box or into the chat box. We also have some of our tags here in the


chat box, so if anyone wants to tag us, we would love that. Again we are coming from the Agnes


Etherington Art Centre in Kingston. So, I will begin by welcoming our first panellists Eve Blouin-Hudon.


Eve is a positive psychologist and an expert on creativity and imagination. She is a university instructor


at Carleton University in the Department of Psychology where she teaches courses on creativity, play and innovation. She is also the founder of


Bevy Creative, a consultant agency delivering evidence-based workshops, talks and one-on-one tools to both individuals and organizations.


And Eve will speak to us for about half an hour. Welcome, Eve. >> Thank you so much for having me. Sorry I was on mute.


It’s the new era now of I’m on mute during Zoom calls. So thank you so much for having me.


And I’m happy that this series could still happen, even though it’s online. So I’m glad that you could pull it all


together and have us here with you today. I’m going to share my screen with you. And we’ll see if that


works. There we go. So now I’m going to go full screen. Can everybody see that okay? Yeah. Awesome.


Okay, so my talk today is on creativity and its link to play and well-being because I can do any of my work


without plugging in the importance of play. So the big focus here is on creativity, cultivating a creative


practice for wellbeing, and then I’m going to talk as well about what a playspace is. How to open up a playspace.


And how to cultivate that as a creative hygiene in your every day life.


So creativity is a very broad concept. The way I look at it, and the way that I’ve conceptualized it from the research that I engage with the most is that it’s a generation of new and meaningful ideas. And so, when we’re


talking about meaningful ideas, sometimes it can be very subjective. And so there is this idea of big “C” and


little “C” creativity. And so big “C”, you will have big ideas meaningful to other people in the world as well.


Those meaningful and new ideas might add to an existing domain or they might even modify that domain. But when


we think of little “C” creativity, a meaningful idea can simply mean something that is you know aesthetically pleasing to you as a person, subjectively it could be meaningful to your identity,


to your growth, to where you want to go in your life or what you want to explore.


So when I’m talking about new and meaningful ideas, it can take on different a different breadth depending on how you


look at it. So in some cases, creativity leads to the implementation of these ideas into


the real world. So you could have these new and meaningful ideas and then transform them into a play or


into a new business or into a workshop or into a painting. But that’s not always the case. With creativity here, we


can see there is a close link to innovation. So innovation is the process where you take creative ideas or you


take the fruit of the creative process and then you implement it into the real world.


So this is the creative process that I teach to organizations and that I teach to my students as well at


Carleton University. But it is in no way the only creative process. Some of you might look at this and say this


is a very simplistic look at the creative process. There is actually more steps to it. Or there’s less steps. And


so today, I want to present this to you because it has been distilled from research from Theresa Amabile and her


colleagues at Harvard Business School. They have looked at the creative process mostly in workplaces, and in a


link to learning and to personal growth mainly when it comes to you know, entering the flow state, being


motivated to engage in different tasks. So it does look at the creative process in relations to how you engage


with the external world, and less how you engage, you know in a personal art practice for example. And so, here we have the


first stage which is problem identification. So at this stage you might not have a goal yet. You might not have an audience, if that’s what you’re creating for. You might really know where you’re at.


And then you have the preparation stage where you seek inspiration from external sources, where you’re being very open to experience, you’re trying new things. You’re eating new food. You’re collaborating or you’re talking to


people, you’re reaching out to people that are not necessarily in your inner circle, so you’re really broadening


your horizons here. Then with idea generation, it’s when you go back into your own little world


and you start to enter the divergent process. So the divergent process is where you generate as many ideas as


possible. You’re not editing yet. You’re not censoring yourself. You’re really just engaging with your mind. And here it’s important to be alone because you don’t want to be influenced by other people telling you than an idea is better than


another. So when in preparation you’re engaging with other people quite a lot, in idea generation, you’re more


by yourself, and then finally, you have idea revision and implementation where here you’re putting your editor hat


on. You’re editing through ideas. You’re polishing things off. And there is a dash implementation because here when you’re done this whole process and you have gone through it multiple times, you might be ready to


then put your idea out into the world. So this process I’m showing it to you in a linear way, but it is by no means


linear in real life. So you can be bouncing from one stage to the other at any given time, and the way I teach


this process is that you should be engaging in these stages at least a little bit every day. So you should


have a little engage with these little nuggets of these each stage every single day, and that you might


actually cycle through this quite often before you’re ready to release your ideas out into the world.


So now that I have talked about creativity a little bit, I’m going to talk to you about wellbeing at a very


broad level. So wellbeing at its broadest level, or how it is defined in positive psychology, is the interaction


between your physical health, your social environment and the choice of the activities or tasks that you do.


And so, depending on what that is – depending on the interactions of your physical, social and choice of


activities, you might benefit from higher mental clarity, vitality, satisfaction with your life,


fulfilment and a sense of purpose. So you can see that these are pretty high-level concepts here,


satisfaction with life, fulfilment, and purpose. And so on any given day, you might not be feeling like you’re


always fulfilled or satisfied or purposeful, but when you look at your life in general, someone that


expresses high wellbeing will report these. And so, creativity and well-being are


highly linked or they can help feed off each other quite well because they both help us understand ourselves and our


environment in a very intuitive way. So if I’m asking you, you know, what brings purpose to your life or why are you


satisfied in your life, you might just say, well it’s a feeling, you know? You might be able to pin point exactly


what those – what is leading to that feeling, but it’s still very intuitive. And creative thinking and


engaging through the creative process will require you to tap into that intuitive side of you. It will


require you to step out of your logical thinking or your frontal lobes and go into other places where your


consciousness lies in your body. It helps us because it’s so intuitive, they both help us be more aware of our


beliefs, our emotions and our perspectives with creative thinking, it’s very important – you know as you cycle through the creative process, it’s important to adopt other perspectives or to be exposed to other


ways of believings and seeing the world, and oftentimes when we are exposed to these new things, it kind


of puts a mirror in front of us, where we see oh, well this is my perspective then, I guess I see things this way,


and this person or this culture, if you’re travelling, sees things another way.


And because of that, because you’re exposed to a lot of perspectives, you’re more aware of yourself. You can better


adapt to change and complexity so that’s part of flexible thinking, being able to see things in new ways,


and also use things that have worked for you in the past, in new situations, and by default, it helps


you grow your skills and your self confidence. And so, with creativity as well, like


I said, with the different perspectives, with creativity, it can be quite nice or creative thinking,


because yes, you can go and explore the world – the physical or external world, but you can also explore


imaginary worlds. So, creativity when we think of creative thinking in terms of imagination as well is quite


interesting because you can create alternate worlds, you can adopt different identities, you can put


yourself in these different situations. Even sometimes I ask people – we do a little flow meditation where I’ll ask


them to think of their creativity or think of you know their motivation or their work, and to give it a colour,


and then they cycle it through their whole body, and I ask them, okay, well how does your creativity now


feel? Does it smell like anything? Does it taste like anything? Does it feel like anything And just through


mental imaginary, people can start to assign these more you know – these more sensory-based


aspects to their creativity, which sometimes we think too much in our logical brain. Imagination can be neat to connect these things together. Creativity and wellbeing, they are


personal. They are unique to you. Even though I just gave you these really broad definition of creativity and wellbeing that are supposed to like encompass everybody in the world, really, at the end of the day, I could


you. They are unique to your own motivations, and when you become aware of that, when you become of aware


of the things that motivate you, when you become aware of the things you want to express, things you want to


work through, that can help you increase your motivation to persevere through difficult themes, and


oftentimes, when we are doing introspection, especially for wellbeing for growth, we have to


we have to work through difficult themes. You know? Nobody has – everybody has some shadows to work


through. So approaching it with a creative lens or through a creative practice can be


very helpful to kind of take of the pressure off exploring those themes. Because of that, it helps us develop


empathy for ourselves and for others, it can foster a deeper sense of personal presence or a feeling that


you are grounded after you have done maybe an hour of your creative practice, a lot of people a lot of


people report being – feeling more grounded or feeling more fully seated in themselves. So this is what I


usually do when I’m with people. And this is what I had planned. But if I was to be in person with you, but I still kept


it up here. We’re not going to do the free writing together but I would love for people to write in the chat before


I go on to the next one, what are your some of your barriers to creative thinking? And or in the questions


maybe. I’m not sure Shannon if the chat is being monitored or not. I guess I can’t really see it.


But I would love for you to think about this. What are your barriers to creative thinking? I’m going to go


through some of the main barriers that I have heard from people, and from my students, but after that I guess I


can’t see it, but after that in the Q and A would be great if anyone has other barriers. Wait I do see it. I do see it. >> Well, I could read them to you, if you would like.


>> I can see it on my phone. So this is great. >> Okay. So time and focus. Okay,


time, so I have two – I have time and focus and I have time and I have deadlines, which is also time.


Task-oriented schedule based and lack of time. Okay, so a lot of times here. You’re feeling like there is maybe


there is other deadlines that need to be met. It’s difficult to take the time to sit down and engage in your


creative practice. There is also self judgment and critique. Absolutely. So you know, I’m not creative. That’s


a very common one. The I’m not creative mindset. Other people are creative, I can’t be


creative, but you know, if you’re human and you have a brain a full brain, then you are creative. You know, you


have the full ability for creative thinking. Perceived expectations. Having a


result, absolutely. So a lot of us will engage in the creative process because we want to produce something and


that can be quite hard because creativity and I’ll get to very play soon, but play can help us feel like we can


engage in our creative process without having to have a result. I see more times, feeling exhausted after work and burnt out. Absolutely.


The beauty of this sometimes though is that engaging in creative thinking can be rejuvenating. Expectations too


high, fear of failure, all of the above, lack of ability to centre myself with or without other


instructions, concerns for criticism by others, self criticism. Yep. Having to operate within systems and


structures that have other priorities. Yeah, and need to bounce idea off of others. That’s a


great one. Need to bounce ideas off of others. That’s a clear path to a solution, that one.


So you’ll see that what you said it resonates with a lot of people, that I have talked to, that I have consulted


in workplaces and with my students. So there is a lot of self-consciousness. There is a lot of guilt. Guilt


because you’re not spending the time doing something quote on quote productive or too much focus on time.


Being outcome-focused. So thinking that you need to engage in a creative practice or creative thinking to


produce something of value instead of just being centred around the process, taking time to be in the creative


process itself for its own sake. And then attachment to roles and high hierarchy. This is something I


haven’t seen in the chat, but in workplaces that’s something that is a little more prevalent, where people,


if they are in a manager position, they’ll feel very attached to that role, versus if they’re in an employee


position, they feel they have to ask permission to enter creative thinking at work. And so that’s some of you might


resonate with that as well. And so, play is important for creativity and well-being. I encourage everyone


to think – at least think about how you can make play a bigger part of your creative practice. So play offers


us this safe space for imagination so we can really kind of deconstruct the whole world. We can – play gives us permission to be a little more imaginative. It can help us frame problem in new ways and because it


removes the constraints of daily life, helps us be comfortable with uncertainty because sometimes with


play, you know you know anything can be possible in a playspace. Again, you can help us understand problems in an


intuitive way. Play is usually experienced as pleasurable and rewarding, if you’re not having fun,


then you’re probably not playing. So that’s already look a good indication that you’re not in a playspace. And when


you’re playing, you don’t really have to be productive or performance-based. And now here I am talking more about play in a broader sense, not games. Because I know some people get very


competitive when they are playing board games. And I get this question a lot. So, here I’m talking about play in


more of mindset, a mindset of play where you’re going to finger paint, where you’re going to play with Lego


blocks or play dough or maybe you’re I don’t know you’re dressing up and you’re doing improvisation or theatre


with other people. So something a little more open with less rules. But the playspace and to know that


you’re in a playspace, it still has defined by a goal. Right? So you have to enter a playspace and even if your goal is to say, well this is my


playspace, and none of my constraints about being productive or time or my roles or anything applies in this space. And so you have set this rule for yourself. I also tell people if they have a big


focus on time, you can set a timer so if you want to start doing like 30 minutes, you can set a timer for 30


minutes, or an hour, if you have an hour to block off. And you know when your timer rings, then it’s over, but until


it rings, you don’t have to look at the time. You don’t have to worry about it, because you know that your timer


will let you know when it’s over. And so I find the timer is very freeing for a lot of people to get anchored really into the flow state and really get anchored into the creative process. I see, dancing is a great way to play for me. Absolutely. Dancing is a


huge one for me as well. It’s very playful because you can just dance and let your body move. I know Shannon


probably feels the same as well for dancing. And someone here says a very helpful book art and fear. I second


that. Absolutely. Art and fear is a very good book to help us move through that. I have already talked about


this, so I think I have talked for almost half an hour already. So my closing remarks here are that you – I


encourage you – I don’t want to say should, but I encourage you to make time for creative hygiene. I call it a


creative hygiene because it’s something you take little bites of every single day, or at least, you know, four or five times a week. Like


you would a workout routine, like you would flossing your teeth or brushing your teeth. And so we have a lot of hygienes, right? We


have these little routines that we do. So when you make time for the creative process in your every day life, you’re kind of telling yourself, this is normal. You know? This is something what I do.


The more you engage in it, the easier it becomes. It becomes part of your habit.


>> Understanding creativity as a process. So this helps you move away from that the outcome based, like


producing something of value or that’s aesthetically pleasing that doesn’t really matter when we explore creativity for wellbeing right. You’re


engaging in the creative process to express yourself or to connect to that intuitive side of yourself.


And so remember, creativity is a process with different stages. I didn’t break down how to hack into each stage


but if anyone is interested, you can always reach out to me by, email. I’m happy to elaborate more on that.


There is this importance of self-awareness and reflection. And so you’ll see – you saw here, I had a


slide here on free writing so I encourage people to do a lot of free writing to open up their playspace and so close


it up. And so free writing is really you set your timer for 3 or 5 minutes. You give yourself a prompt. What is my


goal today? And then you write and you don’t lift your pen, until your timer starts to ring. You literally write what is


in your mind. So I’m hungry, I’m tired today and I’m exhausted. I can’t really focus on this prompt right now. You


know, write it down. That’s the whole point of free right writing. That helps you open up the space, and when you


do it after, your place and times, it helps you make meaning out of your session, you know? What did you learn? What came up for you? What surprised you? A lot of times we surprise ourselves.


It helps us, right, the more you engage with your creative practice, it helps you make more choices that align with your


most authentic self. And so that goes and feeds into your wellbeing directly. There is this importance of non-linear


ways of thinking. We’re so – with a lot of us, with work, or if you’re studying in school, we think


with our rationale brains and our logical brains because that’s what’s conditioned for us in school, and then


in the workplace. And so we’re conditioned to think this way, but there is a lot of power in our own intuition. So


tapping into that can be quite beneficial. And finally to create a psychological playspace


where you don’t put so much pressure on yourself. And you really have fun. You can enter the flow state a lot easier


that way as well. So that’s it for me for today. Thank you so much for listening and for engaging in the


chat. I’ll stop sharing my screen. >> Shannon Brown: Thank you so much, Eve. I love that. I love that you


mentioned intuition. I think intuition is really a mysterious place. A lot of people are very


curious about intuition and you know, that when we open up our senses that we can really connect into our


physical body and that’s often where intuition lies. So, thanks for touching upon this.


I think that whole issue with time, which is one of the things that I put in trying to make time for my


creativity, I think when we do make time for it, it allows us to expand our time, so we’re more we’re less


stressed out and we’re more able to be effective in our day-to-day. >> Absolutely. And if anyone is


interesting in learning about the flow state and how that can alter your perception of time I encourage you to Google it and look


it up. >> Shannon Brown: Thank you, Eve. So if anyone has any questions for Eve we will have about 15 minutes at the end and we


can have a Q and A there. So, our next special guest is Allison Morehead, and Allison’s talk


Thing Provocations will be happening in a moment. So let me just introduce Allison. Allison Morehead, PhD, is an associate


professor of Art History and Cultural Studies at Queen’s University. She studies the link between modern art


and the medicalization of modern life. Her pedagogical practice including work in the critical medical


humanities emphasizes first-person encounters and interactions with things in the world, both art and


non-art. Welcome Allison. >> Allison Morehead: Thank you so much Shannon and you can hear me okay?


Great. Okay, so let me share my screen. And just for, can everybody, wait hold on a second. Sharing


screen. There we go. Shared I hope. Good. Great. And let me apologize for ambient noise. I’m as far as I can from the construction happening in


my vicinity but you may still hear it. Thank you so much Shannon for that introduction, and thank you to the


Agnes Etherington Art Centre for inviting me to be part of this art and wellness speaker series. Thank you to


Shannon again, to Charlotte and to Maddi for organizing everything so well. And I also want to thank my fellow panellists,


Eve Blouin-Hudon and Max Montalvo and our audience members. It’s a really enormous privilege to be here thinking


creatively together with you all today, even if sadly we can’t be together in person.


So before we begin, I want to acknowledge that I’m speaking to you today from Tkaronto which is the


traditional territory of many nations including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishinaabek, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and


the Wendat peoples. Today it’s home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit and Métis. This land is covered by


treaty 13, which is an 1805 treaty long contested by the Mississaugas of the Credit and only settled in court in


2010. Thankfully, my daughter who’s almost 14, knows much more about this long


contested treaty than I did as a white settler at age 46. Before treaty 13, I have learned that these richly


resourced lands were subject to many agreements, including the dish with one spoon treaty among the Anishinaabek,


the Mississaugas and the Haudenosaunee. This treaty bound peoples together to care for and share the resources around


the Great Lakes area in peace. Those resources of course, include the hydropower of Niagara Falls which


enables us to Zoom in together today. So I want to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to be able to


live, work and play on this land. And in doing so, to recommit myself publicly to this spirit of the dish


with one spoon treaty, to care for and to share the resources of this land in peace.


So, I also want to – so I would like to situate myself within the context of this speakers series which brings


together just a fantastically diverse group of participants and audience members. So there are artists, there


are story tellers, art therapists, medical professionals, museum educators, mediators, curators and


researchers. It’s incredibly rich. As Shannon said, I’m an academic, I’m a professor


here at Queen’s or there, since I’m not physically there right now. As she said, a historian of art, and also


a historian of the psychology sciences so that’s psychology, psychiatry and the psychics sciences which were all sort of bound up with each other in the 19th


century and I’m also a historian of medicine. I work as Shannon mentioned as well in an emerging interdiscipline that is


often referred to as the critical medical humanities. And I have a long history of working with museums, both


art museums and for lack of a better word, I know this is very awkward, non-art museums doing both curatorial


and pedagogical work. When I teach my classes on Queens on art and medicalization of modern life, we regularly use collections both from the Agnes Etherington Art Centre and the Museum of Health Care in Kingston to provoke


conversations on the modern medicalized body. And in mentioning this, I want to point to


a divide that tends to exist in the museum world, between museums for art and museums for lack of a better word,


non-art. And here however, I should say that the Agnes is something of an exception with its long tradition of


doing really fascinating and often artist-led collaboration with other museums, including the Museum of Health Care in


Kingston. As part of my research, I also curate exhibitions that combine art and


non-art, and I am current working on an exhibition that will show the work of the Norwegian artist Edvard Munch


author of this work called “The Scream” in conjunction with objects from the history of medicine. So I’m curating


this for the Munch Museum in Oslo. In emphasizing that I work with both art and non-art in my teaching and


research, I wanted to highlight something that emerged I think really powerfully in the talks given by


Steven Legari and Melissa Smith in this series a few weeks ago. Namely that art and art museums can have a special


power to heal and to bring people together, but that they can also exclude people who do not feel they have the


requisite knowledge to bring to an encounter with art, especially within the space of an art museum, which is a


culturally loaded and colonial institution. Using wonderful examples, and


research-based analysis, Steven and Melissa detailed the various ways in which they work with their colleagues,


their institutions, and different community groups to overcome those barriers, in order to make art and the


benefits of art and artmaking more broadly accessible. Steven and Melissa also were highly


aware of the fact that there’s still much to do to facilitate equal access to their art and wellness programs.


They acknowledged for instance that in these COVID times, a shift to the digital has in some


ways expanded their reach. They can Zoom in to people all over the world, but of course, the down side is that


people who do not have the privilege of stable, high-speed internet access are potentially being excluded from those


kinds of programs. So in my work, in both my research and my teaching, I try to breakdown some of the


barriers between art and non-art in the name of accessibility. And for the sake of fostering new relationalities, new


relationships among people and new modalities for care. For the purpose of holding discussions, which are


often difficult discussions, centred on questions of health, wellness and care itself. To do so, I often discard this awkward


terminology I have been using of art and non-art, to foreground the word things. And here, I’m inspired by the


Things Theory of Bill Brown, and the reflections of Bruno Latour and Peter Weibel on making things public.


So, Bill Brown’s Thing Theory encourages us to unfix our notions of objecthood and subjecthood, to allow


for relations among humans and things, to be indeterminant, shifting, and even boundary crossing between the animate


and the inanimate, which can bring some of this theory into alignment with Indigenous ways of knowing.


Scholars who use Thing Theory often draw upon the philosophical work of new materialism and that’s especially


feminist new materialism to emphasize most obviously the materiality, the materiality of the stuff


the world, but also the potential animacies of matter, the way that material to be animated or even animate


itself. And the universe – this is another aspect of feminist new materialism that animates thing


theory, if you like. Many of these thinkers emphasize the universe as profoundly entangled, and here, I’m


using the words of the feminist theorist Karen Barad. Reflecting on their own


exhibition-making practices, Bruno Latour and Peter Weibel highlight the potential of things and the processes


of making things public through exhibition as community building. In emphasizing the democrasizing


potential of bringing people together around things, they take inspiration from the Scandinavian languages in


which the word “ting” is both a thing and a gathering, traditionally around a round table. This use of ting comes


down to us today in institutions such as Norway’s Stortinget which is the word for the country’s Parliament. Stortinget literally


means the big thing or the big gathering. Stor is the word for big, ting and the et at the end is the


simply the definite article. So Stortinget Parliament is the big thing. Taking this inspiration from this conflation of thing and


gathering, Latour and Weibel go on to define a thing as a quote archaic assembly that binds all of us and gathers


around itself a different assembly of relations. So by now, you have been looking at


this image on the screen for way too long. And I have done this deliberately in the hopes that in


looking at the slide, you might begin to be drawn to the things projected on whatever screen you are using. Out of


curiosity or perhaps just out of boredom. The photograph you see is a of a vitrine in an art museum. If


my memory serves as the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York with various objects, various things, of modern


design. Now, these things, of course, by virtue of being in an art museum, are


liable to take on the label art, but their identity as art or not art is very much fluid and contingent on


context. I could go on forever about this this photograph. It’s play of shadows and reflections. But what I’m


really interested in is the way in which the dark egg-ished shaped thing in the vitrine provokes and can be


made to provoke. Provocation of course being the second word of my title that need some explanation.


This dark brown eggish thing is artist and designer Isamu Noguchi’s radio nurse designed in 1937 and


manufactured by Zenith as an object to support wellness. It is essentially the first baby monitor


commissioned in the wake of the widely reported kidnapping and then killing of the Lindberg baby.


The sleek design of the radio nurse, which was designed to broadcast from the guardian ear at the baby’s


bedside, seems to me both comforting and disturbing. A thing that, reminiscent of both a nurse’s head and


a robot provokes for me at least somewhat ambivalent feelings. Now of course I am not suggesting that


everyone is moved to have the same feelings about this thing as I do, only that in contemplating this thing, it


might be thought of as provocative, and that in telling you something about this thing, I can perhaps provoke a


reaction in you. So from the Latin pro meaning forth and vocāre meaning to call, a provocation is a literal calling forth. But a calling forth of what is


a matter for discussion. When I use this word provocation together with things, I encourage the broadest of


views on what might be provoked by provocation, but I suggest keeping two things in mind; one, that


provocation can connote the calling forth of both affect, feeling and action, including physical reaction to


stimulus; and two, that in general usage, the affect or action provoked are often imagined or assumed


to be negative. We often talk about somebody provoking somebody’s anger. But earlier usage of this word was


much broader. An affect or action might be negative, positive or even much more complex.


I started to think about the possibilities of using thing provocations to reconfigure my


teaching in 2013-2014. When I taught two courses on dada. Dada and its effects and dada, gender and sexuality.


As some in the audience may know, dada was an of a avant-garde movement of the 20th century that


responded to the horrors of the First World War and society’s ills more generally by radically questioning the


nature of art, by incorporating found objects and the every day into art practices such as collage and assemblage, by embracing chance and play and I really enjoyed Eve’s discussion of the playspace. I hope


what I’m doing here is creating playspaces for my students and by engaging in provocations ranging from sound


poetry to early performance art, to exhibitions entered through public toilets.


More than anything, I think of dada as a call for new relationalities among people, among people in the state and


among people and things. In the 1950s and 1960s in the wake of another world war, artists looked back at dada


for inspiration, again rejecting many fine art practices such as painting and sculpture to embrace performance art, collage, assemblage, happenings out of which practices such as conceptual art and institutional critique emerged.


The neo-dada group Fluxus for instance emphasized every day materials, actions and relational practices such


as mail art. Sending each other things in the mail to creative new and radical forms of relationality and


hospitality. When I started preparing these courses on dada, teaching them using a fairly


straight forward pedagogical approach, assigning reading, sitting in class, having a seminar discussion


seemed to me very much counter to the material. And risked I felt deadening it, relegating it to the past when I


hoped students would become aware of the long histories of dada and dada politics in art and life of the 20th


and 21st centuries. And so I invited my students to learn about dada by critically engaging with


the practices of dada itself, by doing. Each week, a small group of students was invited to offer to the


class a provocation which I suggested could be a set of questions, a piece of sound poetry, a performance, or an


activity, or a game inspired by that week’s readings. Students seemed initially very wary of


this style of learning. But after placing myself in a risky, uncomfortable position, dressing up in


a cardboard tube like the dada artist Hugo Ball and reciting a nonsense poem, they embraced the provocations


as they we went through the term and began to see the deep possibilities of dada play.


Drawing from dada’s focus on every day things rather than high art, student groups invited their fellow students


to sit on the floor and make collages, to participate in performance art, and even at the end of term, to engage in


a collective – oh, here is some performance art for you. And at the end of term, to engage in a collective


public performance at the Art Gallery of Ontario. We visited the exhibition of work by the Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei, himself an artist very much inspired by dada,


wearing signs wearing signs that said things such as untitled. The results of this kind of teaching I would argue are newly


embodied forms of knowledge and new relationships. In being encouraged to take risks, and to build community


through play, through making and doing, the students themselves foster the kinds of brave spaces advocated for by


pedagogical scholars such as Brian Arou and Kirstie Clemons. Inspired by my students’ ability to


embrace these new kinds of learning opportunities, I started to expand and introduce dada and Fluxus practices


into other courses as well. In particular, a series of upper-year and graduate seminars around art and


medicine topics. Last year, for my graduate seminar bodies medicalized, students chose


individual things from the collection of the Museum of Health Care, and were asked to provoke on their thing


in anyway they wanted. In offering my instructions on thing provocations, I asked only that students make things


provoke or themselves provoke something about the thing. I give some examples, a set of


questions, a performance, bring in a work of art, etcetera, but I try not to be very prescriptive in my


instructions. Some students, and this is always fine, remain in a more academic mode while others push the


boundaries. For this class one student chose a small booklet from the museum’s collection called the Saga


of Mental Illness published by the Ontario Department of Health around 1969. The booklet uses rhyming, verse


and illustrations to present a history of psychiatry designed to justify the then current state of psychiatric


care. One student wrote additional verses for the book performing them for the


class in a way that encouraged everyone to think creatively and critically about the significance and meaning of


this somewhat odd thing. Spaces, places and the conditions of encountering things matter. The great


advantage of working with non-art things, in non-art museums, is that we can often touch things. But this has both


advantages and disadvantages. As you can see from this picture, this space here to encounter these things and to


do thing provocation was tight. I think we had 12 or 13 around a small table. Of course such awkwardness can


be to the good. There is a forced intimacy among people and things. But it also determines what kinds of


experiences, and provocations can happen. We were not for example going to get on the floor and start


spreading out all the slides of the stereoscopic skin clinic for example.


In 2017, I encountered an ongoing project in Norway that gave further impetus to my pedagogical


experiments with thing provocations and encouraged me to expand this practice into my research and


curatorial work, in particular with the workshop last year called Doing Medical Humanities with Art, Non-art,


Objects and Things. Led by Heinrich Trimo of Teknisk Museum which is the Norway’s museum of science and


technology which includes under it the national museum of medicine. Trimo had started this project called the


Tingenes metode, the method of things, which took the museum’s role as a what they call a tingesteader or place of things.


Remember that I mentioned earlier that Latour and Weibel defined thing as an archaic assembly binding us together


and that they played on this concept in the Scandinavian languages of ting as both thing and gathering. As part of Tingenes metode


project, Trimo and his colleagues installed a laboratory space in a central location of their museum with


transparent doors, transparent glass walls and doors, reconfigurable areas and yes a round table that


enabled different publics, including community groups, to participate in various exhibition projects, really


from the get-go of the exhibitions organizing. Projects especially centred on frankly problematic parts


of the collection, for instance, a collection of objects from Congo, and an extensive collection of human


remains from the medical museum. Trimo and his colleagues’ project did not involve art, but I saw the


potential of introducing art into the mix as another kind of thing thereby bringing art and non-art museums into


closer dialogue. But perhaps more importantly, bringing the of avant-garde art practices I was using to


generate new relationalities in the classroom into an interdisciplinary research conversation. For me, this was also a


way of experimenting with the combination of art and non-art for the purposes of the exhibition that


I’m curating for the Munch museum which I mentioned will combine Munch’s work with the objects from the history of medicine


in provocative ways. With the support of a social sciences and humanities research council


connection grant, doing medical humanities with art, non-art objects and things was a three-day workshop


for art historians, historians of medicines, medical humanities scholars, curators and graduate


students held in Oslo at the Munch museum, the Teknisk museum and the university.


Participants were assigned things from outside their areas of expertise, instructions were given to simply


prepare to provoke and with again a few examples, and when participants arrived, they were placed in small


groups focused on one thing, and asked to prepare over the course of half a day a group thing provocation.


Graduate students were assigned to each group as record keepers, relays and participants. Elements of chance,


serendipity, risk and failure were all part of the process. Experts in different disciplines had to use


non-expert language to communicate with each other, and thus fostering interdisciplinarity. Let me share


two successes, one from our day at the Teknisk Museum, the other from our day at the Munch museum. So Natasha Ruiz-Gomez, an art


historian who you see on the right, that’s me on the left, who works on late 19th century French art neurology and


medicine, she and I were assigned the thing blood bath shower gel which is exactly what it looks like. It’s a


gag gift that is often found in medical museum gift shops. I came prepared for our day having done


some reading on the psychology and sociology of jokes thinking about how things such as this could both unite


and divide people through humour and discomfort. Natasha had gone beyond. She


purchased blood bath shower gel and she invited members of her family to use it. Then she interviewed them about


their experiences using the shower gel. Combined, our mock series provocation was an ethnographic


study of blood bath shower gel that invited people to reflect on the meaning of gift-giving, what it means


to give such – this gag gift which also has such a strange relationship to our own health and bodies. Right?


You’re showering with blood. That’s weird. Before summarizing the thing


provocation based on Edvard Munch’s 1902 painting On the Operating Table I should reiterate my point about how


different places and spaces determine how people interact with things. While the laboratory space of the


Teknisk museum was a real playspace with transparent walls, round table and flexible space, and it was


designed specifically for these thing methods we were trying out, the Munch museum on the other hand with its high security vaults, cameras and ever-present security personnel is probably the exact opposite of a playspace.


A great deal of negotiation and trust was involved in having our small


groups enter into secure spaces, into the vaults, in order to work with the art things by Munch that we had


selected. Those spaces of surveillance, I think, were perhaps even counterproductive to the kinds


of practices we were trying to encourage. Nevertheless, I have to say,


participants rose to the occasion. And this is one example here. Using found objects including the cookies provided


to us in the auditorium, this group presented us with a kind of absurdist performance of Munch’s operation scene.


This painting on the left is based on Munch’s own lived medical experience having a bullet removed from his hand


after a quarrel with a lover. The group bravely acted out the struggle and the operation raising


profound questions about reality, representation, and the emotional charge provoked by the painting. To


say that it was a provocative performance, and that it created new relationalities among the participants is I would very much an understatement. Now, I’m terrible myself as social


media, although I’m getting better. And fortunately, but fortunately some of the participants were better at it than I. Felicity


Callard is a key theorist and the critical medical humanities. She has written extensively about the every


day challenges and the emotional labour of doing interdisciplinary work. So I was very gratified by her enthusiasm in the


workshop. Her tweets, although it wasn’t retweeted that much, it was small event, but her tweets have led to an


opportunity to further expand the project in partnership with what’s called the Northern Network for


Medical Humanities Research, and the Welcome Collection in the U.K. Funded by the Welcome Trust, a charity


that funds research and biomedicine and public understandings of biomedicine, the Welcome Collection is a


unique institution that houses and collects objects from the history of medicine, and art, including


contemporary art. Keen to ensure that early career researchers or ECRs have


opportunities to use their collections, the Welcome is now funding the project Thinking Through Things: Object


Encounters in the Medical Humanities, to foster new research on health and wellness, and new research networks


through encounters with things, including art, in their collections. The project kicked off earlier this


year, with a number of events, including a workshop at the Welcome Collection in London for an


interdisciplinary group of ECRs, curators and archivists brought works out from storage and gave fascinating overviews of the collections with one of the goals of workshop participants being to choose


a selection of things that would form the basis of thing provocation workshops to conclude the project.


One of the researchers suggested that throughout our day, we conduct autoethnographies, recording our


feelings, thoughts and experiences. This I found to be an enormously helpful exercise revealing to me a key


component of working with things in collections that I had long sensed but not articulated. Namely the barriers


intentional and unintentional to archive and collection encounters put in place by expertise.


The curators and archivists who presented the collections to us were generous with their time and


expertise. But in and of itself, that time and expertise acted as a barrier to our own engagement with things from


the collection. We listened intently to their views, we followed their lead in looking at things, and we happily imbibed the fascinating information they passed on to us, gleaned from years of intimate contact with these


collections. But while the people in the room were experts, researchers with advanced degrees, our lack of


familiarity with the specific things on the tables combined with the presence of people who knew these things so


well, actually kept us from really engaging with those things. The day was over, and we’d hardly


had a chance to look with any concentration with the things brought out specifically for the group, so


that 30 seconds that Shannon mentioned earlier that people often spend in museums, it’s real. People move on.


So this is provoked for me some intensive thinking about accessibility to collections, and how I as a


teacher, researcher and curator can create radical conditions of access in the classroom, in archives and


collections or in museums spaces. How do you invite people to think about things, including art, when the


barriers are as much mental as physical? Do I have the expertise? Who is this person in the room with


me, with expertise? Is there a right answer? These are real experiences that need to be negotiated with care.


Okay, I just have a couple minutes here. Sorry I’m going a bit late. Also needing to be negotiated with


care is a radically changed world in which the thinking through things project is going ahead. This group


cannot now get together in London or Manchester to create community as they had planned through thing


provocations, and we can’t even access other than through a screen, the things we had chosen to create these


thing provocations. And moreover as the project overtly acknowledges, the precarious work


conditions of early career researchers in the U.K. has been exacerbated by lengthy and ongoing lockdowns.


To think through some of these challenges, we’ve gone back to some of the touch stones of my thinking


about things, to dada to Fluxus, to Thing Theory to entanglement and to things as an archaic assembly that


binds us. I will be – oops – I will be taking off the project with a talk next week, but more interestingly, it will be followed by a series of workshops. This can be made available if you’re


interested and I can make the website available of course to you. So you don’t need to read everything on the screen. But I wanted to point to you to some of the wonderful workshops that might colleagues have organized. There are


workshops on creative writing on objects as desiring, on making zines and curating the every day by inspired


by the scrapbooking process of Audrey Amiss, on making masks, and there also will be a series of reading group workshops.


The project – whoops, the project will then conclude with a thing provocation exercise inspired by Fluxus mail art


and the event scores of the artist Alison Knowles. Each participant will receive an archival box with a set of


postcards reproducing an art thing from the Welcome Collection. And a set of very simple instructions along


the lines of live with these reproductions of this art thing for awhile.


I can’t tell you what the workshop will be like for risk of spoiling the elements of chance and serendipity


that my collaborators and I value in this process. I can only say that we will strive to create, even in the


virtual space, the conditions for brave interdisciplinary and caring spaces from which truly critical humanities


research on medicine, health and wellness can emerge. Thank you. >> Shannon Brown: Thank you so much,


Allison. So intriguing. Ever since we started talking about this, it’s changed my way of thinking on so many


levels. So I appreciate your talk. And I just wanted to let you know that Alexandra from the MOCA in Toronto


said she took Dr. Morehead’s gender and modernism class when I was a student at Queen’s and I have to say it


was one of the most eye-opening courses I ever took. >> Allison Morehead: Thank you.


>> Shannon Brown: And when I was just thinking about encapsulating your talk, I think a lot about process and product,


because I really come from this, you know the making of art as being as important as the outcome, but I almost


wanted to say that when you were talking I was thinking about then from those things, or the products, it’s


almost like we’re – I don’t want to say we’re going backward, but it’s like the next step is provocation


so wouldn’t that be great to say, process, product, provocation? And seeing the work in museums as that


kind of provocation. >> Allison Morehead: And then it can be cyclical too, you can use that object


to make more things. And increase the playspace of things. I will use this term all the time. It will be an iterative process and that’s such a wonderful thought. >> Shannon Brown: It really helps people to


access these objects and things or products in such a in you way, that again, as you said, grows our


understanding and our empathy and our connection to each other. Thank you so much. I am thrilled to now


introduce our next speaker, Max Montalvo. I’ll introduce you here, Max.


Max Montalvo, MD is an award-winning visual artist and a practicing emergency room physician in Kingston,


Ontario. He has directed and produced music videos for various Canadian musicians most notably The Tragically Hip earning the Much Music


best rock/alternative video award, for the band’s single, In a World Possessed by the Human Mind 2017. Further


collaboration with the Hip, produced the short film Raspoutine, an inside-the-studio look at the band’s album recording progress, and 161! an


online visual poem that explores human perception. Montalvo blends his passion for


the arts with his role as a physician. He is actively involved in the use of visual art, film and sound in medical


education creating a series of short films used in the faculty of emergency medicine at Queen’s. Several medical


conferences have featured his workshops, guiding participants in the use of the short film genre as a novel


method of medical teaching. Montalvo appeared as a guest on CBC’s White Coat Black Art in the episode where


Art and Medicine Meet. And we welcome you, Max, for your talk the Physician as an Artist.


Before we move into your talk, we wanted to let everyone know that one of the films Max will be showing does


have a nude model in it, as art often does, so we just wanted to give that as a little you know something so just


in case. I wanted to let you know that. So welcome Max, and thank you for


being here with us. >> Max Montalvo: Thank you. It’s a real privilege to be here and to follow


such great talks by Eve and Allison. I think I am always amazed by how things overlap although we work independently


and then you see themes come through that I think are common to all our talks.


So, I’m going to start off – I would like to show a short film, and that will introduce the talk. I’m not the


most technically Zoom savvy, so let me know if there is problems seeing it. Just give me a wave if it’s not


working there. >> Shannon Brown: It’s not up yet. Or at least I’m not seeing it.


>> Max Montalvo: Okay, give me a second here. >> Shannon Brown: So Max just make sure on


the bottom, there is the screen share tab and you need to click that arrow at the bottom of the Zoom screen. There


we go. >> Max Montalvo: Okay so you can see my desktop there, now yes?


>> Shannon Brown: Yes. >> Max Montalvo: All right. Here we go.








(music playing).




(No audio).


>> Max Montalvo: So, I want to start off by saying that Shannon mentioned I’m both a physician and a visual


artist. I grew up in Mexico heavily influenced by arts. My mom is a fine arts artist


who essentially had a wonderful environment in which to absorb art, music, art, and really grew up


watching her work late into the night, many many nights and learned I don’t have formal training in art per se, but really it was through the years of growing up with her that I was exposed to this.


Now about six years ago I received a birthday present from a friends Leslie and Rob to take a drawing and painting class


with Dan Hughes. It was really an amazing experience. I had not formally done a drawing class. I have done it


ever since. Dan and I have become good friends, and he’s – he is a wonderful role model and influence as


far as my art development goes. And it was really that very first session that we did that the very first thing


we did was gesture drawings. And to me, I starred immediately making connections between what I did as a practicing


physician and drawing. You know, it became apparent to me that especially following Allison’s talk on objects,


that we – you know we both object identify the human body, so as you are drawing, I really learned to as Dan


would say blur out your eyes so you can see where the light and the shadows are, don’t worry about too much fine


detail, but to get really the essence of the dynamic pose that the model gets into. And within gesture


drawing, we would do exercises where they would be either done very very fast over say a minute or two, and


sometimes longer longer poses. And you know, in medicine we certainly also object identify the body to better understand the function in terms of when the patient comes in, we develop an approach very much leak a drawing


approach, an approach to patients who can certainly in emergency medicine can present with


anything, and so you need approach to be able to try much in the way that you try to get the essence of the


dynamic pose in that drawing is that we try to get the essence of why the patient is there.


And so, this is a video I now use actually as one of my teaching methods. So one of the sessions we do is that medical


students who are doing their last year in medical school called the clerkship, the clinical clerkship, they are rotating through


the different –through many different departments, and doing rotations is a two-week rotation I


think they are with us. One session that I do with them, is that I will have two students at a time, who go in


and assess a patient. I give them feedback in terms of their assessment, and I now start the session with this


video. It’s interesting asking their their opinions in terms of what they think when they first see that


prior to going and assessing the patient. And I have heard things like saying, you know, well it’s the art of


medicine. Medicine is more objective and art can be more subjective. We discuss what is art, you know? I


think I would certainly look at Dan’s beautiful sketch of Paul, and I would call that art.


But at which point does it start translating into when you call it art. Because I’m sure that Dan’s original drawings


were quite different than what you see thereafter years of experience, of doing that.


Some of the other things that to me overlap between the two fields, we think of them as very different, is that they both require an approach, and certainly the approach to drawing as I think Dan showed beautifully there, is that he


is not drawing the body from the top down, starting with the head and moving all the way down to the feet.


If you notice, he was sketching out the proportions at first, and one of the things I learned in terms of when


you’re looking at an upright posture of a model is that there are fairly consistent proportions that the body


would be seven and a half heads tall for example, when you start sketching out a pose, and that by focusing on three lines at first, in terms of where the shoulder position is, the pelvic position is and the spine, that gives


you the core of the pose. And then you start filling in the rest through hundreds and hundreds of repetitions


and learning different techniques to do that. But, that approach is analogous to what we do in medicine


which is when we see a patient there is a traditional approach in the clinical interview, which is the cornerstone of


clinical medicine where medical students learn throughout – before seeing patients, they will simulate


patient encounters and they learn a structure of starting out taking history, getting the details of what


brought the patient in, starting to formulate what we call a differential diagnosis of a list of possibilities of what could be going on with the patient. Then we use a clinical


exam to almost rearrange that list of what we think is going on by looking for evidence that may support one or


another diagnosis. It’s really based on all that we then go to order tests and is try to rule out certain things.


Sometimes in the end, we may not know precisely what is going on. But our goal in emergency medicine is to try


to rule the worst things that it could be and approach it that way. So, I want to show you another film


now, which is I will talk and narrate over. And this is based on a session that we were fortunate enough to do at the


Agnes with Shannon’s help. And it was where we brought in our emergency residents to do a three-hour session


on life drawing. Now Shannon, can you see my – are you seeing this box or should I be –


>> Shannon Brown: Not yet. Again go to the screen share button at the bottom, and with the arrow that is


pointing up and then you’ll get into your screen share. >> Max Montalvo: When I showed you


the first one just out of curiosity, did you see the whole screen? I see the panellists at the very top but I’m not sure if that’s what everyone is seeing as well. – >> People will see different things. Hopefully they are on speaker view.


Then you’re on the right-hand side for me. >> Max Montalvo: And you see it there


now? >> Shannon Brown: Yes. >> Max Montalvo: All right. So there are


schools that have done this very thing. They’ve brought in medical student to galleries, to be exposed to drawing,


and there are several studies out there. I picked one, wanted to talk about one in particular which was done by


Jaclyn Gurwin, 2017. And they brought in one of the randomized medical students to either getting exposed to art


drawing classes and the other half did not receive that opportunity. So, we recognize that observation and


description are really critical to the practice of medicine. That’s very much things that you do when you’re


you’re learning to draw. This is not something explicitly provided in most medical schools. And they really wanted


to have a look to see whether exposing students to learning how to draw may develop their observational skills. So there


were – this was in Philadelphia. And there were 36 medical student who participated. Half of them were


randomized into taking the art training and the other half did not. They were


called the control group. And they were taught by professional art educators at the University of Philadelphia, six


one and a half hour sessions over the periods of three months. And they got tested before and after in


terms of how to describe works of art or lock at patient’s retinas, photographs of retinas as well as


photographs of diseases that you can appreciate by looking at a patient. They wanted to look at how good were


they at doing this before and after essentially. So they would grade their descriptions of how


good the student were able to both describe and as well as assess especially retinas, and some art


pieces as well. They noticed that the students who actually took the – who were exposed


to this performed significantly better. That’s statistically significant better than the control group who had


not been primed to do this. So, the conclusions that they came up with is that for first year medical


students they actually can improve their observational skills as measured in this study that they did. And that


there are principles from the approach to learning art that can definitely be applied to medicine as well. Most medical, if not all medical studies finish with a comment that further stories or further studies are


required to examine the impact of this training on actual clinical care. And the year after the study was done, I


arranged with the great help of Shannon at the gallery an opportunity to have the students come in, and have Dan


Hughes lead a session on drawing. And so, it was a done right at the Agnes and a room where we normally have the classes


there. Some of them — Paul who you see on the screen there is actually – even though he hasn’t done formal


training really was it amazing to see what really little direction what you know naturally what he could do.


So after the first hour, that without any direction, they were drawing the model, then the model was approached


really from the point of view, how Dan will guide somebody through it. And one of the things that I noticed, not only


were they the technical aspects of all this, but it was a good team-building experience as well.


You know people can feel isolated in medical training and overwhelmed and oftentimes, you know, the feelings there


people don’t know enough or there is still so much to do. But this was a really interesting exercise to almost


unearth a little bit of introspectively find out how the residents were, although they were in a in a


setting they were unfamiliar with, how they reacted to it. And they were certainly very very engaged and both individually and as a group, we had a session after to debrief and they found that they really felt like they were


being taken out of their comfort zone in doing this. Which is again something we do in emergency quite all the


time. And it was a way to reassure them that although when they walk into the department, and see a patient with a particular continue, no one expects them without an approach or experience to actually


manage that patient. And so, it was very well received and a really great exercise to share with them. So, what


I have shown you so far is an example of what for me, you know, drawing is like, life drawing is like. Try to


show it with Dan drawing Paul. And an environment which is very peaceful, devoid of any distractions and really focusing on the essence of obtaining, you know the essence of that pose. That’s not really how it works for real life for us in emergency. I want


to share with you the next video which is about four minutes long. And, I am just going to play it, and discuss


a little bit after here. Shannon I may need your assistance once again here. Oh no.


>> Shannon Brown: No problem. We can see your screen. >> Max Montalvo: I’ll get it. >> Shannon Brown: Is it on this page here? >> Max Montalvo: You can see it


there? >> Shannon Brown: Land of greed? Yes.


>> Max Montalvo: Okay. All right.


(Speaking in French)(music.




♫ I’m not afraid to know ♫ ♫ This


is the land of greed ♫ ♫ Don’t be afraid to read ♫ ♫ This is the land of greed ♫ ♫ I’m not afraid to know ♫ ♫ This is the land of greed ♫ ♫ The more that everyone needs, the more than everyone needs, the more that everyone needs ♫ ♫ This is the land of greed ♫ ♫ This is the land of greed ♫ ♫ This is the land of greed ♫ ♫ This is the land of greed ♫ ♫ This is the land of greed ♫ (music).(No audio).


So in real life, they often think that it’s really more like that, that we’re although the essence of the


structure of trying to get a this thing where you try to get a gesture from a model that we’re trying to


understand a patient that there’s often distractors and some of those distractors are things we can’t control, like the environment, a busy environment. Sometimes it’s our own


you know, our own barriers we put up to ourselves, where there are you know, the different characters can represent both our


conscience, our self doubt, and you know, the anything like that and so, I think that bringing the residents to


expose them to the gesture drawing not only I think is a useful exercise to improve their observational skills and


to keep the big picture in mind, not focus too much on details often, but that it’s like that. And there was one –


I don’t know if you may have picked up on this or not, but as the video portion’s about to start following the


little vignette that happens in black and white in the café, a woman comes on and says, this is not Artaud’s


café. And that’s analogous to René Magritte’s picture of the pipe, this is not a pipe. In fact, to finish off the talk, I just


want to touch on this. That although I asked the students to say when you come out of a room ask yourself whether you really captured a picture of the patient in front of you, whether you get a sense of what is


going on. That happens not only through observation, but also through narrative, and it is really that much


in the way the pipe the painting of the pipe, or this video is not what it says it is. It’s a representation of


it. So the pipe is a representation of a pipe. It’s a painting. The same way every story that we hear and it


is truly medical clinical medicine is story telling, is we are hearing a story initially from a patient, not


exactly what happened, but a patient’s version of what happened. And the resident or student will collect that


information and form you know, a picture of what they feel is going on, and form a narrative that then is


passed on to us and then we in turn form a picture of that. I want to close off with a short


exercise here, I’m going to share with you on this screen. Which is really inspired by a session that Carmen


Papalia did last year at the Agnes in leading a blind tour of the Rembrandt exhibit that was there. I think it


really highlighted to me what it is that we that we do. So.


What I’m going to do right now is to describe a painting for you. I want you to picture it. Hopefully the screen is


dark. But it’s even more impactful if you actually close your eyes and just listen to the description. So this


is a portrait which is oriented in a portrait orientation. The first thing that strikes me is it looks quite old like it was done a long time ago. It


is a portrait of a woman sitting on a chair, looking at you the viewer. And I notice a number of things, is that


first thing I notice is that she has no eyebrows, she has hair line that looks to be receding a little bit. Looks


like the – you get a sense that her hair is thin. And her skin, it’s hard to tell on the overall colour, because it looks old whether the


paint has been affected by time or not but it almost has the whole painting as a bit of a yellowish hue to it. Her skin almost looks


a little bit more yellow than the typical skin tone. I notice that on her left eye, just on


the just adjacent to the eyeball on the nose, there is a little growth that she has there. It’s on the


skin. It’s not on the eye, but just to the side of it. Her neck looks almost in looking at


her anatomy like there is swelling on her neck. And as you move down, the other thing I notice is that on her hand,


she has what appears to be a growth and the skin is smooth but it looks like this growth is protruding from the


skin, between her index finger and her thumb, part of the hand, not the palm of your hand but the other side.


She is sitting overall when I now look back at the whole painting is that she’s sitting on a chair on a


balcony and there’s a landscape at the back. The landscape has a mix of colours. Towards the back it looks more like blueish colours. And as


it moves to the front, there’s more blues and greens. There is even a some detail on the landscape behind


her, there is a little bridge of arcs. And her overall looks looks to be peaceful. Perhaps – and it’s hard to


tell whether she is looking sad or not. She is covered in a veil and is wearing a dress which is quite I would


describe it as you know quite textured and elaborate. So, I’m going to show you the picture


now. Keep looking at the screen. I wonder whether how close it is to what you pictured.


In the spirit of what’s been described already twice in the talk as the average time that people


look at a painting is about 20 to 30 seconds, this is about 30 seconds of probably the world’s most recognizable


painting arguably. If you notice on here – I have to say this is I read an interesting article by a


physician who was waiting for an hour in front of the Mona Lisa. And I don’t know if he was waiting to sort


of go in or if he was there was a line-up to get out, but he stared a long time and he felt from his


perspective as though she was ill. You can notice there what I was describing on what would be her left eye towards


the nose that there is a little growth. There is a difference in colour there. That sometimes can be


cholesterol deposits that can get in their eyes like that. So suggesting that she may have had


issues with her cholesterol. Also described on the part of the neck that is closer to her right so the right


side of her neck, there is almost a little concavity to that. Could be some


fullness on her neck. He was suggesting that perhaps that might be a a goiter or having low thyroid based


on there not being enough iodine in the diet. That’s can, that’s one of the causes of that. You can see on the knuckle, it’s not actually on the knuckle or just behind, there is a protuberance, a bit of a growth


to the hand. And I think what this exercise really illustrated for me in that session is just how much we rely on other peoples words to frame our own picture of what we see


as physicians and what that means, how important that is, because if I would have chosen to say this is a I


could give you lots of clues to find out clearly that this is the Mona Lisa, but on purpose, I was withholding some of that and sharing some other things with you. Just to see whether you could picture it or


not. Now I would love Shannon to be able to get to the chat to see if there is any


comments on that. Or anything else, but I hope you get a sense from the talk that I think gesture drawing or


drawing in self is although traditionally thought quite different and separate from medicine, it is actually not as


subjective as people feel. It really takes the same sort of approach to mastering clinical medicine, its the repetition,


understanding of proportions and having a definite approach, learning lots of different techniques that can then be


>> Shannon Brown: Max I think you’re muted. >> Max Montalvo: Can you hear me


there okay? >> Shannon Brown: No, we can. >> Max Montalvo: It doesn’t show as


muted. I’m going to write on the chat. >> Shannon Brown: You’re good now. We


can hear you. >> Max Montalvo: Okay. Anyways, that’s what I wanted to wrap up with. I


want to thank you, thanks Charlotte, thanks Maddi, and Shannon as well as – it has been a priviledge to share this afternoon with Eve and Allison as well. Thank you. >> Shannon Brown: Thank you so much,


Max. I love that exploration of at the end there. We had some comments. Somebody, Erin said yes, I thought of Mona Lisa


when you mentioned no eyebrows, which is great. And then Val said I forgot she had no


eyebrows, my vision was a bit different. Somebody said they pictured Queen Elizabeth the first when you spoke of this. And it’s so interesting, I


don’t know how many times I have looked at that portrait, and never really noticed those things that you did, so


really, it does speak to how we are also individually biased in what we look at and our opinions of things. And I


think that’s one of the main outcomes with our study here at Agnes Etherington Art Centre where we’re


working with the School of Medicine on a program called the Art of Observation, and when I was sitting in


the first of our classes, that really came up from the student that everybody has – everybody comes from


such a different place, similar in so many ways, but we all have assumptions that we start with, and I think you


know, we have as a doctor, you’re reminded not to have those biases or places that you come from that aren’t


you know open and general. So taking this type of course and bringing this into schools


of medicine is really important on many levels, so thank you for bringing that up with us.


So now we have about I would say 10 minutes, maybe 12 minutes for questions. And I would love to see if


anyone has any questions in the Q and A box. We have lots of thank yous from our participants and viewers today.


So thank you to all of our speakers. I love Eve when you were talking about the flow state. And I wonder if we can bring Eve back to


speak more about flow states and how those in themselves are healing. We’re doing a program with the


surgical residents at Queen’s. It’s a double outcome. We’re looking for to support hand dexterity for surgical


students, and also talking about wellness for them, and relaxation. So, where does what is a flow


state and how do we reach that? >> Eve Blouin-Hudon: Yeah, great question. A flow state is something that


surprisingly most people will have experienced in their life. We just don’t always know that we’re in those


states. So the flow state is characterized by when you’re in a – you have a sense of timelessness or


that time is doesn’t exist at all or it’s going by very fast or slowly but you’re not focused on time. You’re


not you know, in thinking about tomorrow, or thinking about yesterday. You’re really anchored in the present


moment. And you also have no sense of self per se. You may be focused on your body or sensations in your body, but


you’re not thinking about your beliefs, your identity, your name, you’re just purely again part of the present


moment, and a lot of us have experienced this when doing an activity that we genuinely love, that we’re intrinsically motivated to do. I saw dance in the chat. A lot of people experience with dancing or


doing a sport that they love, like running or baseball or basketball, whatever it might be. You


might have experienced it then. If you are a visual artist, maybe drawing gets you into the state of flow or


playing music or listening to music can get you in the state of flow where you’re just completely immersed in the


present moment. That can be quite beneficial because it’s really expansive when we’re in those states. It stops time. It stops our sense of self. In the way that we usually experience


it, and our flow of consciousness is usually full of me, I want this tomorrow, next year, I do this na na na this person


told me this, so we’re always relating this to time and self. So to be in those states can be very freeing. It


can let that intuition shine through, and it can be quite restorative as well.


>> Shannon Brown: Wonderful. Oh, Allison, do you have something to add to that.


>> Allison Morehead: I wanted to ask Eve a question just a follow up question. I wanted to know the role of toys is in the playspace


and in the creative process, just in your presentation. >> Eve Blouin-Hudon: Yeah, I actually


even before I started talking about that, there is a really cool show on Netflix called Abstract. And there is an


episode, I forget her name, but she is a toymaker. And I think everything I have to say about that is in that


episode of her making toys. Because she makes open-ended toys like toys that you can you know, you don’t have


to they are not prescriptive right? They don’t describe this is how it should look like. I think with


creativity, if you’re going to use toys, it’s important that they be more open-ended or that you can use toys as


stimulators for either – I love play dough because it smells like something. It smells like a lot of


people’s memories, it has colours, and it has like a feeling. It gets warm when you play with it. It can take on


different shapes. So that’s quite open-ended. It stimulates a lot of senses. Lego is the same. If you’re not doing the same thing as the box. You can kind of just use the shapes and sizes and colours. Some


bricks are clear. Some bricks are solid colours. And so, there is you know, spinning tops or skipping ropes that


are a little maybe more physical, that you can use to engage your body, because I and I think I don’t have


to say that to this audience, but the body hold a lot of consciousness, right? You hold consciousness in


different parts of why you are body, and so depending on how you engage the different parts of your body, or that


different that you imagine these different parts of your body can bring about different ideas or different feelings


or different insights. And so I think the importance of toys in play for creativity is that they be


more open-ended and less prescriptive like this is how you have to play with it.


>> Shannon Brown: Thank you. One of the things I was thinking of too with flow is that a really optimal state of


flow is when you’re doing something that’s just slightly above your skill level, so you have a challenge. It’s not too


easy and it’s not too difficult because when people really are high achievers and sometimes in medical schools, you


know, you have students that really want to achieve, and so there might be this aspect of fear because you don’t


want to mess up or do it wrong, but getting to that place where it’s just a little bit outside of your comfort


zone will really inspire you and encourage you to be more in the flow. >> Eve Blouin-Hudon: Yeah that’s a good point. That’s really important actually to the flow state, you’re not doing something too easy. Then you


fall into like into boredom. That’s the state you fall into. If it’s did I have then you can fall into anxiety


or fear. So it’s that sweet spot between you know, there is a just a sweet spot outside of your comfort zone that is the learning zone. Then if you’re too far out of that you are the panic zone so you want to stay in


the learning zone. >> Shannon Brown: I have another question here that’s come in.


Someone is asking, are there any existing museum education programs that you see exemplifying your work


fostering this type of flow state, creativity play, and or thing provocation. If not, what types of programs do you


envision would do this kind of work? And that’s mostly directed at Eve and Allison. But I’m very curious about this too,


because it would be incredible to get some thing provocation going at Agnes. Do you have any thoughts? >> Allison Morehead: You know I suspect it has been going on in a lot of places without being named as such. I mean,


I was drawing of course on this example from the Teknisk Museum. I think a lot of, I think it was so rich to bring together curators from


art museums and non again I hate this terminology, but it suffices, because I do think that they do tend


to program differently. And they think about engagements with collections very differently. And so I really


this is partially what I really appreciated about the thing methods project, that Tremo was doing at


Teknisk Museum and I what I try to work through in bringing art museums and non-art museums together. But I


think, you know, museum educators and curators are so creative right now. This just been an explosion


since – I don’t know if Shannon what you would say kind of the mid-90s is maybe where I would kind of situate this, like


the creativity that happens within educational programs, educational departments in museums is really this


incredible well spring of creative ideas and how to engage all kinds of people differently with collections. You know, there were some great examples given again in a couple of weeks ago


Stephen Legari at the Montreal Museum of Dine Arts. Melissa Smith at The Art Gallery of Ontario. I often you know there is


again Shannon, I think this doesn’t happen – I think university museums have this amazing role to play because


they tend to be these laboratory spaces and curators and educators tend to interact a lot more. But in a lot of


bigger museums, those departments don’t always interact. And sometimes as an academic I don’t get to connect with


the educators as an art historian, I don’t get to connect with the educators as much. When I go to museums I’m trying to like find out who the educators are so I can really try to get a sense of what they are doing. Again, I don’t have any more specific


examples other than to signal the talks that were given a couple of weeks ago, and my own encounters in


Norway and with the Welcome Collection as well, this is a really fascinating museum/collection that really crosses


a lot of boundaries both in its exhibition-making and its exhibition programming and the way it creates


spaces. They have this amazing library space for instance where collections can be really you can interact with collections


in totally different ways. So yeah, those are the examples that spring to mind. But I suspect there are lots more


that we’re just not you know, just haven’t quite sort of broken to kind of a broader consciousness, but are happening on the local level everywhere. >> Shannon Brown: I think that’s


great to bring up. And I wanted to just mention Lincoln Centre education. Their work is based on the work of the aesthetic philosopher


Maxine Green who talked about the space between the art work and the viewer as being full of


incredible potential. And they have 12 imaginative capacities that they work on when students are and visitors are


placed in front of art works and around art works, and I think that’s really important for us to remember this


unlimited potential that is in existence. And we just don’t even know what that is until we stand in front


of the work and allows these sorts of processes to happen. I’m just being mindful of the time.


We have a question for Max. An artist performs and then achieves a goal, no matter what the outcome. A physician may look at the patient like an artist but needs to achieve a diagnosis as close as possible to the truth. Would


you not need many artists in in the room to approach the truth? Great question.


>> That’s a great question. I think in a way that does happen similarly in that I’m describing at a very basic level the interaction between a patient and the physician. But more practically what happens is as a


patient arrives to at least in the setting where I practice, they will initially share the story with a triage


nurse, who makes some notes in terms of the version that she or he has extracted from what the patient


describes, and it really starts there in terms of the flow of how we assess patients is you know, well, at that


moment, an initial thought is started in terms of how sick the patient is and how quickly they need to see a


physician in the emergency department. So sometimes, so that’s an initial the initial assessment. And then, they are


seen usually secondly by a nurse working in the particular part of the department where the patient is taken


and to be assessed. Then sometimes by a student or resident, sometimes directly by us as attendings. And in fact we do


collaborate quite a bit at work, where depending on the complexity of the patient’s presentation, you know, certainly could be something as straight forward as a twisted ankle while playing


soccer, and but it can be very very complicated sometimes. So really I think that the angle of


approaching it in terms of careful observation and trying to really – because we are relying so much on the


patient’s narrative of what happens, and their own knowledge base around understanding what that is, and


getting that picture that I go back to whenever I work with the residents or students, or for myself, as I’m


writing my note, I’m asking myself whether I have got the right picture. Not infrequently, we will collaborate


with other physicians who were there either through emergency saying you know, what do you think? If something


doesn’t quite fit. Or other times, we’ll further refer the patient to a specialist where we feel like this


is we have identified enough to recognize that although we may not know in that particular moment what’s


going on with the patient that they do require further involvement of other physicians as well.


I heard a colleague of mine describe medicine sometimes like the old Polaroid cameras, that you take a


picture and it’s blurry and it takes a whole minute for that picture to become clearer. Patient presentations


are very much like that as well. So I think there’s many factors to certainly with a goal to try to


consistently and every time trying to understand what is going on in the essence of what is going on with the


patient, and it doesn’t truly happen in isolation. Normally I think there are, depending on the complexity of the


case oftentimes lots of collaboration and discussion around that. Great question.


>> Shannon Brown: I can’t help but imagine the studio where we have all of the students around the model and


every single person sees a different perspective. If we put all those pieces together, would we get the


about collaboration through consultants. Sometimes it is very much like imagining taking a consultant who may not necessarily see the perspective that you are approaching at that moment, but having


him come and see your perspective, walk around the room and look at her from the angle you’re looking at it, and conversely for us to walk around and look at it from the angle they are looking at it. I think that really helps to foster a


healthy collaborative patient-centred approach to medicine. I saw that the question from Bonnie Anthony in terms


of are there any benefits of being an artist and a physician? That’s sort of what I take from it, I think taking the


pressure off that you need to sometimes step back and not feel like every single, like the fear of being wrong is really just it’s taking a different approach and thinking I’m trying to really understand and


capture the essence of what is going on with that patient, trying to minimize what happens in the second video,


Dan with all the distracters and trying to think back to the first one which is to really focus on the thing on


your approach and to trust that approach. >> Shannon Brown: Well thank you everyone.


I’m going to wrap it up now. It is 3 o’clock. But I just wanted to thank all of our viewers, and participants.


People who have come from all over the country. This is the end of our series. I would like to thank our speakers today of course, Max Montalvo and Eve Blouin-Hudon and Allison Morehead. I would like to thank Queen’s University for giving me this chance and allowing me to, me and the team to offer this series. The Agnes Etherington Art Centre of Course. I would really love to shout out to Maddi Andrews who has been our productive assistant and Charlotte Gagnier as well who has done such an incredible job managing all of the registrations and holding space here for us.


I would also like to publicly thank our funding agency here the Community Foundation of Kingston who provided the funding for this series. Culture Days, we are associated with culture days and how important culture is for our country


and for our communities. And just to list of our other speakers Jannis Timm-Bottos, Savneet Talwar, Melissa Smith, Stephen Legari, Elaine Kicknosway and Stephen Longboat. Thank you to everyone for being a part of the series we’re really thrilled.


It will be, it is being recorded. It will be edited and put up on Digital Agnes on our website. So please do go back because there is so much rich information from every one of our speakers.


So thank you again everybody and enjoy the rest of your day. And may creativity and art and wellness be in your life forever. Bye everyone, thank you. Bye Allison thank you.


Thanks so much Shannon, Maddi, Eve everybody who’s still here. Thank you everybody. So nice to meet you Allison. Likewise, I hope we can be able to connect. Yeah let’s connect. To everybody out there.


Absolutely. Thank you so much Shannon and Maddi and oh is she gone, Charlotte. Thank you. Bye.

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