We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham Research Online
You are in:

Arts as treatment? innovation and resistance within an emerging movement.

Yoeli, Heather and Robson, Mary and McLusky, Sarah and Macnaughton, Jane (2020) 'Arts as treatment? innovation and resistance within an emerging movement.', Nordic journal of arts, culture and health., 2 (02). pp. 91-106.


Purpose: For years, the Arts and Health (AaH) movement has been guided by values of art for art’s sake, practitioner as Artist and artist as Outsider. These values are instrumental to the effectiveness of AaH as a relational and process-driven tool for individual empowerment, collective health activism and social change. This paper explores how the AaH movement, together with the artists operating as AaH practitioners, has responded to the political and economic and policy transitions of recent years. Methodology: This paper critically analyses and updates the frequently-cited Diamond model of Smith (2003) and Macnaughton, White and Stacy (2005) exploring how and why, within a UK context of neoliberalism, austerity and evidence-based practice, AaH is being increasingly drawn into the methods and governance of medical and rehabilitative services. Findings: Whenever AaH in the UK is governed by health services, it becomes reconceptualised as therapy or treatment. It risks relinquishing its artistic and philosophical identity and distinctive effectiveness. Originality: This paper builds upon the Diamond model to present two new models, the Stalactite and the Helictite. These new models conceptualise the current situation and the potential future fragmentation of the AaH movement, highlighting how AaH might remain faithful to its core values.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(VoR) Version of Record
Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial 4.0.
Download PDF
Publisher Web site:
Publisher statement:Copyright © 2020 Author(s). This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons CC-BY-NC 4.0 License (
Date accepted:02 February 2020
Date deposited:03 December 2020
Date of first online publication:30 November 2020
Date first made open access:03 December 2020

Save or Share this output

Look up in GoogleScholar