Our Art-Science exhibition exploring the realities of Tourettes Syndrome debuted for two weeks at Lumen URC. As well as showcasing the artwork produced at our TICS workshop, we were lucky to host some amazing 'day in the life' diary entries created by people living with Tourette's and some beautiful poetry. Take a wander through this online exhibition and learn about the science and lives behind Tourette's Syndrome.
Facilitated by Alex Hirst
While discussing the science behind Tourette's Syndrome we focused on the social aspects of Tourette's and its closely associated brain disorders such as obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). These pieces reflect key themes and thoughts that emerged, including:
- An urge before a tic (known as a premonitory urge) is like having ants crawling up the inside of your arm; you have to react to it.
- Expecting someone with Tourette's syndrome to be able to refrain from expressing a tic is like expecting someone to withhold a sneeze.
- There is a misconception that all Tourette's Syndrome sufferers have verbal tics, and those verbal tics are their real thoughts – in the wrong context this can be hard to explain!
Facilitated by Rachel Daniel
Wood, String, Nails
Tic Tock is made with pieces of colourful string woven into different patterns on small blocks of wood studded with nails. The artwork uses interrupted patterns and repetitive movements to explore images and ideas that might be associated with Tourette’s. If you look closely at the intricately built up, colourful shapes, you can see pictures of the brain, neurons and hidden words and messages.
The artwork enabled participants to make both figurative and literal connections, as research and treatment into Tourette’s were discussed, as well as the assumptions and social stigma that sometimes accompany it. One participant felt that no medication or therapy was as important as creating an effective public understanding of Tourette's through projects such as this.
Facilitated by Julia Vogl
MDF, Paint, Vinyl, Wood
This observational game illustrates that regardless of a diagnosis of Tourette’s we all have tics; mannerisms we express without cognition. These are sometimes facial, gestural, in our vocabulary or personality, or a tone in our voice. Each participant (one scientist, one artist, one person with Tourette’s and one family member of someone who has Tourette’s) is signified by a different colour. We conversed on issues of Tourette’s, and lifestyles and aspirations. Discussions spanning ideal travel locations to unearthing the hard facts about the disorder were held. Pegs of different heights illustrate different tics, and are placed in the order they occurred during the discussion. Each person was paired with someone else to observe and place the pegs on the board, mapping their repeated actions. Perhaps for once the person with Tourette’s was not the only one being studied!
Producer: Piers Bailer
Sound Engineer: Dan Bradshaw
Facilitated by Angela Farragher
The title of this piece reflects a conversation that occurred between people with Tourette’s, neuroscientists and family members of people with Tourette’s during the TICS Art-Science workshop.
Although negative experiences and difficulties of living a normal life were discussed and shared, the course of the conversation was a positive one. The strength and determination of people with Tourette’s was very clear; they have become stronger because of all that they have gone through. These pictures were inspired by these conversations
To illustrate the spectrum of Tourette's, and to get people thinking about their own involuntary Tics, we asked people who visited Beyond Tics to add their tic to the wall. What's your tic? E-mail us and we will add it to the collection!
Femi Owolade-Coombes, Samuel Rodriguez Leisdovich and Sophia Savidis
Walk a mile in these shoes, with diary entries that so generously and beautifully give us insight into what it is like living with Tourette’s. These extracts provide a unique opportunity to see this disorder from a real-life perspective.
The winning entry! Written by Craig Thomas-Smith
This collection was produced by: Alex Hirst, Alex Lehman, Angela Farragher, Ben Hadley, Carys Beard, Craig Smith, Dan Bradshaw, Diane Rouge, Eileen Joyce, Femi Owolade-Coolmbes, Georgia Pitts, Georgina Jackson, Grace Owolade-Coombes, Irene Paganelli, Joe White, Jon Mcleeod, Julia Vogl, Katherine Dyke, Lexi Bradburn, Lily Ioannou, Liora Cohen de Pellerin, Louise Croft, Michelle Downes, Nick Savidis, Piers Bailey, Rachel Daniel, Rosie Coleman, Ruth Ojadi, Samuel Rodriguez Leisdovich, Sophia Pepes, Sophia Savidis, Sophie Winter, Steven Jackson, Tara Murphy and Vakis Ioannou