About the project

Care aesthetics understands care as embodied (something we do), crafted (something we refine) and made up of sensory experiences (something we feel) between individuals, in groups and communities and between people and objects.

We position care as an aesthetic practice - that is, operating on a sensorial and poetic register of doing and responding. This radical understanding of care as having aesthetics challenges the assumptions that have devalued care labour and caring industries in our society.

Project missions and plans

The CARE Project explores how sensory and embodied practices of care can improve care services and change the quality of socially engaged arts practices.

CARE seeks to elevate care to its proper position as a creative practice that can contribute effectively to health and social care services. The project will highlight the immense skills of care staff and aims to support the caring practices of artists working in health and social care settings.

We believe that the care we give and receive is improved if we attend to its art-like qualities. Similarly, we believe that art making is improved when care is central to its ethos. As such, the CARE Project aims to bring the ideas of careful art and artful care into dialogue.

The Project follows case studies in multiple settings:

  • With healthcare support workers and patients in NHS secure wards;
  • With homecare workers in London;
  • With theatre artists working in care homes.

The team will also conduct a major study into creative responses to the Coronavirus pandemic.

The project is also launching The CARE Lab to bring artists, academics and practitioners from health and social care together to explore new methods and practices of care, and to foster public engagement with the project.