Jill Bennett is Scientia Professor and Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow. She is Founding Director of the Big Anxiety Research Centre [BARC] ; and is part of the leadership team of the Ageing Futures Institute.
In 2017, she founded The Big Anxiety – festival of people + art + science, a research-driven, mental health festival, which won ‘Best New Event’ at the Australian Event Awards in its inaugural year, 2017 https://www.thebiganxiety.org/.
Jill’s ARC Laureate fellowship (which commenced in 2018) supports the transdisciplinary Felt Experience & Empathy Lab [fEEL] at UNSW. fEEL brings together psychosocial and creative practitioners, specialising in mental health engagement, and in the use of experiential media such as virtual reality to communicate embodied experience. fEEL’s innovative approach to subjective experience and knowledge exchange utilises immersive media/Virtual Reality to create perception simulation, facilitating ‘seeing through the eyes of another’. Outputs include the IEEE Award winning The Visit, an interactive avatar made with women with dementia.
https://vimeo.com/showcase/6799615. Collaborations include work with NPY Women’s Council/Uti Kulintjaku https://www.thebiganxiety.org/events/uti-kulintjaku-initiative/.
Jill’s books include Empathic Vision: Affect, Trauma and Contemporary Art, Stanford UP, 2005 and Practical Aesthetics: Events, Affect & Art After 9/11, 2011 -- and more recently, The Big Anxiety: Taking Care of Mental Health in Times of Crisis (Bloomsbury, 2022).
Recent articles describing the strategies of The Big Anxiety within a psychosocial framework include Bennett, J., Froggett, L. and Muller, L. (2019) Psychosocial aesthetics and the art of lived experience, Journal of Psychosocial Studies, 12(1-2): 185–2010.
Bennett, J. (2022). Visual communication and mental health. Visual Communication, 0(0). https://doi.org/10.1177/14703572221130451
Videos - see
w: Big Anxiety Research Centre
w: fEEL Lab