Dr Susan Liggett
Associate Dean for Research Faculty of Art Science and Technology
Place of work / study:
Wrexham Glyndwr University
Area of Research:
Arts in Health
How is your work funded?
Tell us a little about yourself:
I am a practicing artist (painter) and academic researcher interested in how the visual arts can contribute to a better society. I spend 3 days a week working for the Wrexham Glyndwr University and then spend the other two days making paintings in my studio. Making and looking at paintings allows our subjective experiences to shape our objective realities and it is this understanding of the first person perspective that fascinates me when engaging others in art making.
I supervise research students in the field of arts and health and initiate projects in North Wales in collaboration with local organisations that aim to tackle identified challenges through arts-based research. Together we co-fund a research student to lead a process of enquiry to investigate possible solutions or develops new models of working more effectively through engagement in the arts.
Projects include the training and development of artists working for the local health board, the creative resilience of a locally run arts centre and the digital curation of a medium sized arts council portfolio funded gallery. I am also interested in the relationship between art and science and have curated several exhibitions namely “Carbon Meets Silicon”. I have also recently co-authored a book titled Art Design and Technology which was published by Springer.
I worked closely with Megan Wyatt and supervised her PhD. I assisted her with her workshops with those living with dementia and their carers and learnt a great deal from her work. Together we co-authored a paper on “The Potential of Painting: Unlocking Disenfranchised Grief for People Living With Dementia” and we are in the process of writing a chapter for the practical handbook of dementia to be published later this year.
I am also on the steering committee of the Wales Arts and Health and Wellbeing Network and the North Wales Arts in Health Concordat.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself:
I am learning to play the double bass badly.
Why did you choose to work in dementia?
I don’t work specifically in dementia but have worked with Dr Megan Wyatt  on her dementia projects assisting with her workshops and looking for opportunities to write about dementia and painting together. My mother has vascular dementia and I have made a series of painting about her and the condition. I am passionate about promoting the positive benefits engaging in the arts has for those living with dementia and in October 2020 I was planning to curate an exhibition and symposium on Dementia and Painting at the Royal Cambrian Academy to raise awareness but this has been put on hold because of the Covid-19 pandemic.