Daniel Jamieson, Artist in Residence

The Think-Tank seminar series

Imagining the inner voices of those suffering from mood disorders

Facilitator

Daniel Jamieson, Artist in Residence

Date and time

12:00 - 1:00pm, 23 November 2012

Abstract

The Leverhulme Trust is funding playwright Daniel Jamieson to work with the MDC to write five fifteen-minute inner monologues for fictional characters with different mood disorders. These will be heard and seen with accompanying film in the Centre and online. The aim is to help break down the taboo against talking about mood disorders. The process will be for Jamieson to talk with staff, read suggested material and meet members of the Centre’s Lived Experience Group (LEG), who have personal experience of mood disorders. Then he will write inner monologues for five characters from very different backgrounds, each suffering a different mood disorder. The final pieces will be spoken by members of staff, the LEG and students, recorded and presented inside the Sir Henry Wellcome Building and online alongside a stream of visual images. The flavour of each piece will aim to give the feeling of being inside a person’s mind overhearing their thoughts. Each piece will also reflect the character’s ‘pathway to recovery’. Once each monologue is complete, the final audio-visual pieces will be made in collaboration with Peter Hulton (video artist and documenter), Duncan Chave (sound designer), and Dorinda Hulton (director and vocal coach), who will each bring their own unique artistic vision to bear.

This residency will enable Daniel Jamieson to explore a different kind of form in his drama: His writing for theatre has been extroverted in nature, whereas this project will allow him to write five soliloquies in which the characters’ innermost thoughts are overheard as they struggle with mood disorders. To convincingly reflect the texture and substance of five inner lives will be a hugely stimulating challenge for him. By working with the MDC to imagine these voices, Daniel aspires to contribute to the culture of empathetic enquiry within the Centre.  Collaborative processes with members of the LEG, integral to the Centre, and guidance, instruction, and information from the research staff will allow him rare and profound insights into emotional disorders. The MDC has a keen and ongoing focus on increasing public awareness and understanding of depression and bipolar disorder and in reducing the stigma and hopelessness often attached to these disorders. This artist-in-residence scheme will provide another creative means to engage the wider public with mood disorders and to challenge common preconceptions about depression.