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The Wavelength Project presents: Reflecting Nature at the Royal Exchange

Press release   •   Jul 07, 2016 16:39 BST

An exhibition of artwork created by award-winning multimedia artist Mark Ware and leading psychologist Dr Nichola Street

Award-winning multimedia artist and stroke survivor Mark Ware is bringing his latest art exhibition to Manchester, as part of the European City of Science 2016.

Reflecting Nature is an exhibition of artwork created collaboratively by Mark Ware and leading psychologist Dr Nichola Street. The work will be on display at the Royal Exchange Theatre until Sunday 24 July, with a proportion of the proceeds from sales of limited edition prints to be donated to the Stroke Association.

Mark’s work draws on his experiences since having a severe stroke in 1996 and Reflecting Nature brings together art and science, to explore how people respond to natural and artificial stimuli. The exhibition consists of sixteen digital prints which use images of the natural environment and symmetrical patterns.

As well as being able to enjoy the artwork, visitors to the exhibition will also be able to contribute to a scientific project led by University of Staffordshire psychologist Dr Nichola Street by taking part in public engagement workshops on Sunday 24 July at the Royal Exchange Theatre. The project is designed to look at how people respond to artwork and different environments. Members of the public can take part using eye tracking equipment and by performing specially designed response tasks during these workshops run by Dr Street and Mark Ware.

The exhibition is part of The Wavelength Project, an on-going arts/science collaboration between Mark Ware, and neuroscientists and psychologists at Brighton and Sussex Medical School and Staffordshire University. The artwork shown will be available for sale as limited edition prints at http://thewavelengthproject.com/shop/, with a percentage of the proceeds going to the Stroke Association.

Speaking about the project, Mark Ware said: “Stroke ended my old life, but gave me a new life, where for the first time I understood the meaning and value of art. Most of my art since having a severe stroke has been touched by my disability. As a result I have become increasingly interested in how my subjective experiences have been altered by my brain injury.

“The Reflecting Nature collaboration has allowed me to explore subjects that are of profound interest to all artists: why we create art, how we respond to art and how art is linked to our interactions with the natural environment.”

Dr Nichola Street said: “Psychologists have long known that the environment in which we spend time is important in terms of health and wellbeing, and that nature has particularly beneficial properties. The collaboration with Mark Ware has been an eye-opening experience comparing and contrasting the artist and scientific ways of working and how we see the world. For me the most exciting part of the project lies in understanding the impact that visual stimuli can have, with a view to creating psychologically positive environments where mobility or choice of location is low (like hospitals and schools).”

Mark Ware worked professionally for fifteen years, with international clients in film and video production and photography until a severe stroke in 1996 radically altered the course of his life. He founded The Wavelength Project in 2015. Its research to date has included an investigation into the effects of natural and artificial sound on attention and mind-wandering. The Wavelength Project is supported using public funding by Arts Council England.

Mark will also be offering his expertise as a professional photographer, teaching participants how to improve their phone camera skills. Tickets cost £6 and all proceeds of ticket sales will be donated to the Stroke Association. Please book your tickets through the RET box office on 0161 833 9833.

Read more about The Wavelength Project’s findings to date at www.thewavelengthproject.com/blog or visit @scienceartTWP | #reflectingnature | thewavelengthproject.com. For more information about stroke, ring the Helpline on 0303 30 33 100 or visit www.stroke.org.uk

A stroke is a brain attack which happens when the blood supply to the brain is cut off, caused by a clot or bleeding in the brain. There are around 152,000 strokes in the UK every year and it is one of the largest causes of disability. There are over 1.2 million people in the UK living with the effects of stroke.  

Stroke Association is a charity. We believe in life after stroke and together we can conquer stroke. We work directly with stroke survivors and their families and carers, with health and social care professionals and with scientists and researchers. We campaign to improve stroke care and support people to make the best recovery they can. We fund research to develop new treatments and ways of preventing stroke. The Stroke Helpline (0303 303 3100) provides information and support on stroke. More information can be found at www.stroke.org.uk