GEYÆ (GEM Emerging Young Artists Exhibition) 2022 was a cutting edge art experience supported by the City of Sydney which showcased the artworks of emerging young artists in the Sydney local area. The exhibition was designed to be highly interactive with artworks installed in unconventional ways.
GEYÆ was held in loving memory of local Sydney artist Lexie Deng.
Culture & Connection
Culture and Connection is a limited series podcast featuring leading academics, activists, and artists. This podcast facilitates profound conversations and doesn’t shy away from tackling complex topics such as: How do cultures perceive and affect mental health?
This series is supported by a grant from The University of Sydney and hosted by GEM’s youth lead Siena Bordignon for new Sydney University students, alumni, and the wider public.
creativity across 3 continents
“Introducing our speakers for a groundbreaking tri-continental podcast program. Discovering what arts and health means for all people in this day and age.”
GEM collaborated with Pixelache Helsinki and Karachi Biennale Trust, through the support of the Asia-Europe Foundation ASEF Cultural Mobility First! Initiative, on a Creativity and Well-being Program delivered through live radio and podcasts, released over 4 weeks.
Each podcast was produced by the three collaborating teams across Europe, Asia, and Australia. These podcasts feature cultural practitioners and their mentees from each organisation, interviewing artists and other creatives on the topic of how various forms of art and creativity can facilitate health and well-being.
This series initiative is lovingly dedicated to the memory of Arsalan Malik, and images by his dear friend Miraal Habib.
GEM MENTAL HEALTH MONTH EVENT
‘Tuning In’ to Emotion through Sound for Mental Wellbeing
On Monday 26th October, GEM explored the emotional power of sound and music to promote greater mental wellbeing for a Mental Health Month webinar.
Dr. Tom Cochrane, Philosopher of emotion and aesthetics and Lecturer at Flinders University, Adelaide, gave a fantastic presentation on music, aesthetics, and emotion.
He was joined by GEM’s Founding Director Angé Weinrabe, who further discussed how genre-specific music, with the addition of Binaural Beats , can be used as a highly effective tool to enhance cognition, improve sleep, and increase relaxation.
This webinar was hosted for NSW’s Mental Health Month. It discussed the benefits of sound and music to help individuals ‘Tune In’ (the theme of Mental Health Month 2020) to reduce emotional and physiological stress, which in turn can lead to greater mental health and wellbeing.
After their presentations, Tom and Angé received many questions. This was one of the best parts of the evening! Here are a couple of the important questions that you, the public, had for our presenters. Within the responses there are further links to research on music and Binaural Beats.
1. Have there been empirical studies done on the emotional and embodied effects of hearing non-traditional musical instruments – like, say, Indigenous instruments – from other cultures?
There have been quite a few studies into how music is actually a universal language. There are universals of music that anyone from any culture could pick up on, and there does seem to be universality in how particular components of musical sounds pick up on our physiology and emotional states. Western classical music can achieve similar effects to, for example, Japanese traditional music or Javanese gamelan music.
There is also a ‘fine-tuning effect’ that you can observe when you’re immersed in a musical culture; there are additional features, certain structural forms, or things that are surprising or unexpected within those forms that can have additional layers of musical meaning for the listener.
There is a foundation of basic biological universals that we all have, just through virtue of having bodies and voices that have emotional qualities to them. There are then cultural features you can additionally enjoy on an embodied and emotional level through immersion. Check out The Music of Our Lives by Kathleen Higgins for more on how music allows people to achieve social bonding.
2. Can Binaural Beats enhance the capacity for individuals to visualise or imagine, and so assist with greater mental health and therapeutic outcomes?
This would depend on an individual’s age as well as their emotional state at the time; they would need to first become conscious of their physiological experience when initially listening to Binaural Beats. For example, people new to these beats experience all kinds of embodied states, ranging from the not-so-unpleasant like tingling in their legs, to the unpleasant like slight nausea. Feedback from various listeners have stated that these experiences can be felt a few times or can be ongoing.
The binaural beats are explained in the neuroscience research as a form of healthy brain entrainment, which alters neural pathways of thought and behaviour, and thus the person’s mood and emotional state.
For it to have an impact on the capacity for visualisation or imagination, individuals must attempt to move past these initial somatic experiences and keep listening to the Binaural Beats for a longer period of time. When using this tool daily for up to 45 minutes for approximately 3 to 4 weeks, individuals may experience relaxation and better sleep. When listening to the beats daily for 20 to 45 minutes for longer than 3 to 4 weeks, the capacity for visualisation and imagination may be enhanced.
Importantly, at GEM, we have found that genre-specific music with the Binaural Beats embedded within each track allows for more enjoyable listening. This in turn offers an inexpensive and effective tool that is always handy when stressors trigger anxiety.
GEM & AVICENNA SCHOOL WEBINAR
Turning Stress and Anxiety into Resilience and Emotional Development
This special event webinar was hosted by GEM for The Avicenna School’s parents, teachers, and students. It discussed the benefits of learning more about our emotional states, how to turn these into something self-empowering, and how when connecting with others we are able to greatly reduce emotional and physiological stress, which in turn can lead to greater mental health and wellbeing.
Angé Weinrabe, Founder of GEM Connect and academic researcher of the impact of our emotions on our decision-making and importantly our health and wellbeing, at the University of Sydney, gave a fantastic presentation on “how” to 1) become aware of feeling states in the body; 2) once identified, redirect these states (anxiety); and 3) get them to work for us and not against us!
After the presentations, Angé received many questions. This was one of the best parts of the evening!