16 Days Events: Glasgow

Reframing recovery: Exploring the relationships between arts-informed adult learning and the recovery journey of women who have experienced childhood sexual abuse and sexual violence

An exhibition to mark 16 Days of Action Against Gender-Based Violence

Based on the research of Nic Dickson, p/t PhD student, School of Education, College of Social Sciences.

The exhibition will be on display from Monday 25th November to the Tuesday 10th December 2019 at Level 5 Gallery space, St Andrew's building, University of Glasgow,

11 Eldon Street, Glasgow G3 6NH.

A celebration of the work will take place in the gallery space on the 10th December from 11.00am - 1.00pm.

Please drop in and join us for soft drinks and biscuits.

Research overview

Nic engaged survivors of childhood sexual abuse and sexual violence in her PhD fieldwork in order to explore how involvement in arts-based adult learning might impact on their perceived recovery journeys following the trauma of abuse. This exhibition celebrates the young women’s involvement in the research and marks the international campaign of 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence.

Research background

Nic accessed her research participants through a Glasgow-based charity which supports women who have experienced childhood sexual abuse, sexual violence and recent homelessness. For over a 6-month period in 2018, Nic worked with nine service users at the charity and ran once weekly, 2 hour visual art sessions at the city centre offices. Nic wore ‘many hats’ in this role, presenting as an artist, facilitator and researcher. The process was framed as an exploration of arts-based adult learning, rather than a therapeutic offering of the arts. At times, the young women’s experience of gender-based violence and trauma affected their ability to engage fully in the research process. However, the project was deemed successful with the young women creating a powerful body of artworks and their experiences captured through in-depth interviews.

There are five components to the exhibition

The survivor’s booklet: In Autumn 2018, toward the end of the fieldwork period, the young women elected to create a short booklet based on their experiences of the art group. They did so to celebrate their involvement with the project and to provide a positive message of recovery for other survivors accessing the charity. The SGSSS poster: In May 2019, Nic created a poster which was shortlisted for the Scottish Graduate School of Social Sciences (SGSSS) Collaboration Showcase at the V&A Dundee. The poster was commended and included in the Knowledge Exchange and Impact Competition. The poster boards: In June 2019, the Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities (SGSAH) featured a Research Showcase at the Lighthouse to celebrate ‘5 years of innovation and creativity in doctoral research’. Nic applied for a small grant to create ten, A1 poster boards to celebrate the women’s work (and allow the participants to take their original pieces away). Each board is double-sided to include the young women’s artworks, quotes and process images. The boards will be rotated on day 8 of the 16 days of activism in order for the whole collection to be displayed. The short video: In September 2019, Nic won the individual submission category for the University of Glasgow’s ‘Impact in 60 seconds’ competition. The video highlights the research outputs and the challenges of engaging vulnerable young women who have experienced gender-based violence. The video is available on YouTube: A comment book: Audience feedback is an essential component of an arts-based research process and Nic would value your feedback on the project, the processes, the outputs and potential next steps for the work. Please record your response to the collection in the comment book.

A short biography: Nic Dickson

Nic is a part-time PhD student, part-time visual artist and full-time mum to three young children. She has always been interested in how art and creativity can be used to engage with so-called marginalised groups. Before returning to academia in 2016, Nic worked for over 15 years as a Social Researcher in the private and public sectors, specialising in undertaking qualitative research with vulnerable groups and collaborating to platform the opinions of ‘hard to reach’ populations. When not studying or working as an artist-facilitator, Nic enjoys running, making messy artworks with her kids, drinking red wine and attempting to play the saxophone (not always in that order!).

Nic can be reached at or on the University profile pages:

Or on Twitter: @NicMDickson

For more information on the 16 Days of Activism campaign and the elimination of all forms of gender-based violence, please see: or Tweet @16DaysCampaign

For more information on the SGSAH and SGSSS please see: or Tweet @sgsah or Tweet @SocSciScotland

2 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Below you can read Grace's poem 'I See You', that she shares in episode seven of the podcast. You can also find more of Grace's poetry in the publication 'When Women Speak I Hear...' An anthology of p