Art and Recovery: A symposium exploring the relationship between art, addiction and recovery

13 October 2015 / 10am-12:30pm

Join this debate on the value of art within the addiction & recovery agenda. Speaking at the event will be Clive Parkinson, Director of Arts for Health at MMU, Social Scientist Dr Ali Roy from UCLAN, Zoe Zontou, a Lecturer in Drama at Liverpool Hope University, UKRF founding Director & recovery activist, Alistair Sinclair and founding Director & Twelve commissioner, Mark Prest from Portraits of Recovery.

The symposium coincides with Castlefield Gallery presenting TWELVE by visual artist Melanie Manchot as part of a national touring exhibition throughout 2015 and 2016.

TWELVE is Manchot’s major new multi channel video installation exploring the intimate stories, rituals, repetitions and ruptures of lives spent in addiction and recovery.

Reserve a free ticket at Eventbrite

Mark Prest is a curator, recovery activist and himself a man in recovery; an experience which instigated a shift in his curatorial practice to working within a social context. He has 24 years experience as an art’s professional, developing a nationally recognised visual arts/exhibitions programme during his time at The City Gallery, Leicester

His personal insight into addiction & recovery combined with his arts background brings with it a unique perspective.

In 2011 he founded Portraits of Recovery; a UK based international visual arts and education charity. The organisations work supports people and communities, affected by and in recovery from substance misuse to open up new ways of knowing and looking at the subject by working with contemporary visual art and artists.

PORe believes that the arts & culture can be transformational in and of themselves. Its vision and intent is to improve the lives of people and communities in recovery by increasing access to cultural opportunity. A central aim is to facilitate contribution to an emergent cultural identity.

Clive Parkinson is the Director of Arts for Health at Manchester Metropolitan University,  a specialist research unit that explores the relationship between creativity, culture, the arts and public health. He is currently working with international partners on a broad range of projects and research. With funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council he is working with colleagues across the UK on an interdisciplinary ‘Connected Communities’ research project, exploring the relationship between the visual arts and dementia friendly communities. Working with health professionals, artists and free thinkers, he has recently developed a Recoverist Manifesto with people in recovery from substance misuse and regularly blogs at

Dr Ali Roy is Reader in Psychosocial Research at the University of Central Lancashire. Exploring the links between social responsibility and the social imagination has been central to work undertaken across the fields of social welfare, health and the cultural sector. Recent work has centered on the potentials of mobile and visual methods for developing new ways of thinking about the subjects of mental health and alcohol and other drugs. He is currently leading an Economic and Social Research Council funded Knowledge Transfer Partnership in which mobile methods are being used to explore recovery from substance misuse.

Zoe Zontou is Lecturer in Drama at Liverpool Hope University. Her principal research interests lie in the field of socially engaged theatre with people in recovery from substance misuse. Her research covers a wide range of topics, including autobiography in performance, addiction studies and cultural policy, which are examined through their relationship with socially engaged theatre. She has worked as a practitioner and researcher in a number of organisations, and has published in the area of socially engaged theatre research and practice. Recently she co-published with James Reynolds the book ‘Addiction and Performance’ (2014, Cambridge Scholars).

Alistair Sinclair is a founder Director of the UK Recovery Federation (UKRF). In the past 32 years he has been: a trainee journalist, student of literature, residential social worker, disabilities support worker, alcohol rehab worker, drug user, road protestor, political activist, homelessness worker & manager, drug worker & manager, consumer of mental health services & general manager of a drugs charity. He is a qualified person-centred counsellor & youth & community worker. Alistair currently focuses on strength-based community building & recovery-orientation within services & the wider dislocated world.