Making Emotions: Project Proposal


Izzy is a current Kings Artist in Residence at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IOPPN). She is collaborating with neuroscientist Dr Gemma Modinos to explore if creative making workshops can encourage young people within South London to express, identify and process difficult emotions.

Working with youth groups (aged 16-25) across three cohorts, Izzy is designing and facilitating an accessible emotive making workshop. The cohorts are all based in Kennington, Lambeth and consist of; a group of healthy young people with no recognised symptoms of mental health illness from the Southwark Young Advisors community at Brandon Estate; a group of young people who are clinical high risk of psychosis (CHR) at OASIS (Outreach and Support) and a group of young people who have experienced a first episode of psychosis (FEP) at LEO (Lambeth Early Onset).

By experimenting with form, colour, scale and texture Izzy asks participants to make the four basic emotions ‘happy’, ‘sad’, ‘angry’, and ‘scared’. Once participants get familiar with assigning different colours, form, scale and texture to the different basic emotions she will ask them to create a 3D material sample to express a time when they experienced a difficult emotion. For CHR and FEP youth’s clinical psychiatrist Zerrin Atakan will provide additional support.

“During my time in Dr Gemma Modinos’ lab (which specialises in psychosis) I am learning about how the brain processes the scale of emotions experienced during psychosis and through the workshops if the act of making can be cathartic. So far I have presented my project as part of a monthly Psychosis Studies meeting, met with the Young Persons Advisory Group to get engagement feedback, trialled a pilot workshop idea with Gemma’s MSc students and shadowed an MRI scan.

I’m interested in exploring how as an artist I can design an installation piece that expresses a range of emotions. By experimenting with sense of scale and material properties how I can express a feeling to others. For example can soft foamy materials be peaceful and hard shiny metal materials represent a feeling of power?” 


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