Dr Gail Kenning is a researcher and artist working with socially engaged practices, participatory engagement and co-design approaches to understand and support psychosocial wellbeing. With a focus on older people, intergenerational practice and mental health she works with the Art Gallery of New South Wales co-developing the Art and Dementia program and PAUSE a program for carers in Palliative Care. Kenning is currently using EmbodiMap – a VR psychosocial engagement tool – working with War Memorial Hospital and developing VR nature and wellbeing experiences for communities in the Woollahra Municipal Council area. Kenning has developed co-design and psychosocial practices for people with dementia including for advanced stages (as acknowledged by Alzheimer’s Society UK) that involve participatory workshops, storytelling, and creative making. arts-based discussion and use of Visual Matrix (Kenning, 2022, Froggett, Manley, & Roy, 2015). She engages in a range of qualitative and psychosocial methods and phenomenological/deep listening analysis approaches and has advised on how qualitative data can inform the development of clinical trials involving social and creative engagements (Kenning, G., Ee, N., Xu, Y., Luu, B. L., Ward, S. A., Goldwater, M. B., . . . Peters, R. (2021). Intergenerational Practice in the Community—What Does the Community Think? Social Sciences, 10(10). doi:10.3390/socsci10100374). Gail was part of the development team on the award winning The Visit—a immersive exploration of the lived experience of dementia— and published in Dementia and The Big Anxiety: Taking Care of Mental Health in Times of Crisis onits use of verbatim approaches to understand lived experience and it how it cultivates empathy (Kenning, Bennett, & Kuchelmeister, 2022; Papadopoulos et al., 2021). She is secretary of the Arts Health Network NSW and ACT (AHNNA) and has affiliations with NeuRA UNSW, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Eindhoven University and University of Technology Sydney.
Lead CI A co-design approach to addressing fear of falling and related activity avoidance in older adults funded ADA, UNSW (Gail Kenning, Volker Kuchelmeister, Prof, Kim Delbare - Advisor Scientia Professor J Bennett) partnering with War Memorial Hospital; Lead CI working with fEEL team DTV (Dementai TV) – developing screen-based digital human companions. partnering with New Horizons ; Lead CI A co-design approach to addressing fear of falling and related activity avoidance in older adults funded Ageing Futures Institute, UNSW (Gail Kenning, Volker Kuchelmeister, Prof, Kim Delbare - Advisor Scientia Professor J Bennett) partnering with War Memorial Hospital; ;working with War Memorial Hospital
Co- CI Co-CI Immersive media explorations of the felt experience of emotions in the body. fEEL (felt Experience and Empathy Lab), University of New South Wales (as part of Scientia Professor Jill Bennett ARC Laureate); Co- CI Intergenerational Integrate Project. Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA), University of New South Wales (as part of Dr Ruth Peters, Ageing Futures Institute Awards)
Chief Investigator (CI), It feels like home, Woollahra Municipal Council – Community engagement with mature citizens to understand their concerns and anxieties in relation to ageing; CI Extending the visual matrix: Using inclusive psychosocial engagement and qualitative data generation and evaluation to understand optimal ageing (Gail Kenning, Fiona White, Natasha Ginnivan, et al.), Ageing Futures Institute, UNSW; Co-CI, Empathetic Care Spaces: Retrofitting Care Environments to Promote Social Connection, Meaningful Engagement, and Support Wellbeing for People Living with Dementia with Associate Professor Nimish Biloria, UTS ( funded by Leigh Place, Sydney); CI, Creativity in aged care, connection, engagement and environment, Leigh Place, Sydney; CI, PAUSE: Engaging with Art and Creating a Time and Space for Self-care, Palliative Care NSW; Co-CI Phenomenological and Embodied Experience Associated with Ageing in Older Adults, fEEL (felt Experience and Empathy Lab), University of New South Wales; Co-CI Course of Empathy, Empathy App, fEEL (felt Experience and Empathy Lab), University of New South Wales
CI, Soundplay for Wellbeing, University of Technology Sydney; CI, Arts Access Program for Liveable Communities in partnership with the Art Gallery of NSW;
Co-CI, ABC analysis of diversity in content, Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC);
Co-CI, (International) LAUGH: Ludic Artefacts Using Haptics and Gesture – £500,000 funded Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) project with Cardiff Metropolitan University, Wales; CI, Making It Together, design research on creativity and craft for ageing and dementia in suburban and regional Australia; CI, Evaluation of Art Gallery NSW Art Access Program; Co-CI, Care through co-design, Centre for Contemporary Design Practices, Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building (DAB), UTS in partnership with Lutheran Services; Research Associate, Evaluation of the Stoner Sloth Cannabis Awareness Social Media Campaign, Department of Premier and Cabinet, NSW Government;
CI, Person-Centred Activities Coffs Harbour (PACH) research of creativity and craft for ageing and dementia;
CI, Hand i Pockets, design research exploring maker practices in participatory design for people living with dementia; Research team member, Sensory E-Textiles, collaborative design research project with Prof Cathy Treadaway, Cardiff Metropolitan University; Research team member, Dementia aprons, collaborative design research project with Prof Cathy Treadaway, Cardiff Metropolitan University; Research assistant (RA), Generally Accepted Practices (GAP) Study of public relations – international industry sponsored report; RA, Which Media Set the News Agenda: Mass Media or/and Social Media? Industry report for Isentia;
CI, Crafting Wellbeing investigating craft activities and digital media technologies for health and wellbeing, focussing on ageing and dementia;
In my work I engage with a range of project patterns including Art Gallery New South Wales, War Memorial Hospital, Leigh Place aged Care, New Horizons Aged Care, Woollahra Municipal Council and councils and aged care facilities across the greater Sydney area.