Latest News


Published on the 20 October, 2017


An evening of chat, debate, art, and drinks with artists, psychiatrists, and neuroscientists.

On Tuesday 24 October join #MagicCarpet for an evening of perspectives on mind wandering from the arts and sciences over drinks, participation, and display of work in progress. Save the date!

Date and Time: 24 October Tuesday, 18:30 - 20:30

Venue: MRC Social, Genetic & Developmental Psychiatry (SGDP, foyer and Rooms A-B), King's College London, 16 De Crespigny Road, London SE5 8AF. How to find us

Free, booking required:


18:30-19:00: Doors open. Make drawings to earn badges!
19:00-20:00: Chat/Debate
20:00-20:30: Drinks, networking, make drawings and earn badges


Does your mind wander? What do you see? What does it look like when it roams? Where do you go? How far do you go? How far is too far? Is mind wandering your best friend, worst enemy, or both? Mind wandering refers to the engagement in self-generated thoughts unrelated to the external environment. While a universal human experience, excessive mind wandering may be a key feature of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). At the same time, there are strong narratives in the arts for people to use and indeed actively generate spontaneous thoughts as part of the creative process. It is no wonder that comedian Rory Bremner, recently seen on the controversial BBC Horizon’s ADHD and Me, calls ADHD is his ‘worst enemy and best friend’.

Join us in a lively, informal evening of interdisciplinary productive antagonisms, and even a spot of drawing of your own mind wandering. The intention of the evening is to open up and complicate our understanding of how the mind works, with particular attention paid to ADHD, and more generally, the boundaries between wellness and illness and how the arts can complicate and contribute to this discourse. There will be zones of contact and zones of conflict, and the evening will open our minds.


Artist-researcher Dr Kai Syng Tan (Artist-in-Residence and Visiting Researcher, MRC Social, Genetic & Developmental Psychiatry) - chair | Professor of Molecular Psychiatry Professor Philip Asherson (MRC SGDP) | PhD researcher Natali Bozhilova (MRC SGDP) | Dr Laura Malacart (Visual Artist and Researcher, Visiting Fellow, Institute of Advanced Studies, UCL) | Dr David Grant (Educational Psychologist) | Professor Helen Chatterjee MBE (Founder and Co-Director National Alliance for Museums, Health and Wellbeing, University College London - respondent).


Students, researchers, practitioners and fans of the arts, psychiatry, psychology, disability, learning difference, neurodiversity, visual thinking and the creative process | Researchers interested in practice-led research, interdisciplinary productive antagonisms and innovative forms of public engagement | Cultural and public health workers interested in how the arts can contribute to the wellbeing discourse | Anyone interested in the mind and how it works (or doesn’t) | Anyone who likes a good debate (but cannot sit still for long) | Anyone who likes to learn new ways to think about what they thought they knew | Anyone whose mind wanders.


The event is part of and enacts Kai’s 1.5-year practice-led research project We sat on a mat and had a chat and made maps! #MagicCarpet. The project unfolds through a series of residencies, talks, workshops and the creation of a new participatory tapestry art installation. As Artist-in-Residence at MRC SGDP, Kai gatecrashes the world of psychiatry to participate in seminars, as well as volunteer for scientific experiments. Her observations, questions and interpretations will be mapped out in a large drawing. This will be weaved into a tapestry art piece at Flanders Tapestries in Belgium. The work ‘takes off’ when people sit on the tapestry, get paired up with Kai, Philip and/or other artists and scientists, to chat about their mind wandering. As words may be inadequate or challenging, they capture their discussions/disagreements/discoveries in the form of maps that they will co-create. Selected maps, as well as commissioned texts and developmental sketches, will be documented in a limited-edition publication.

We sat on a mat and had a chat and made maps! #MagicCarpet is a 2017 Unlimited commission. Unlimited is an arts commissioning programme that celebrates ambitious work by disabled artists. Unlimited is funded by Arts Council England, and delivered by Shape Arts and Artsadmin. The project is part of King's artist in residence programme supported by Cultural Programming and the Department of Social, Genetic & Developmental Psychiatry Centre at King's College London.

TEAM: Artist, Principal Investigator: Dr Kai Syng Tan (King's College London, University College London) / Mentor: Professor Philip Asherson (King's College London) / Arts Production Manager: Alessandra Cianetti / Sound and Music Director: Philip Tan (Philbeat) / Film Director: Michael Larsson (Ohsoweird) | PARTNERS: Submit To Love Studios (Headway East London), UK Adult ADHD Network (UKAAN). For more information visit