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Watch MYTH and Therme Art's Communion event exploring the mental health benefits of creative collaboration

Dezeen promotion: Serpentine Pavilion architect Sumayya Vally was among the creatives who participated in a recent event hosted by MYTH and Therme Art to discuss the importance of gathering and creative production on mental wellbeing. Watch highlights from the event here.

Titled Communion, the event is part of Therme Art's talks programme called Wellbeing Culture Forum, which was "devised in response to the ongoing pandemic and the ensuing global crisis".

Taking place at the Serpentine Pavilion 2021 last month, it aimed to explore the ways in which art, architecture, and culture can have a positive impact on urban communities and the natural world.

The event focused on the importance of gathering and creative production on mental wellbeing

The first conversation at Communion was moderated by journalist Yomi Adegoke and featured Vally alongside artist Torkwase Dyson and the Serpentine Galleries' artistic director Hans Ulrich Obrist.

Adegoke also chaired a second discussion with musician ENNY, fashion designer Priya Ahluwalia and Vally, which covered topics including diaspora, migration, gentrification and identity, with a focus on Black culture.

Later in the evening, the pavilion was transformed into a stage on which rapper and singer Tinie Tempah performed a new track and ENNY presented a special rendition of her hit song, Peng Black Girls.

In between the talks, curator and art critic Daniel Birnbaum joined Obrist to introduce artist Carsten Höller's digital extension of his recent monographic exhibition at Lisbon's MAAT museum.

Guests experienced Höller's work titled 7.8 (Reduced Reality App), which augments and reduces reality by causing the user's phone screen to flicker at 7.8 Hz, a frequency that stimulates brainwaves and may induce hallucinations.

The pavilion was transformed into a stage on which rapper and singer Tinie Tempah performed a new track

The Communion event was enabled by MYND, an initiative created by Therme Mind, a mental health and wellbeing initiative resulting from a joint venture between wellbeing provider Therme Group and neuroscience pioneer MindMaze.

The MYND initiative makes neuroscience technology and research available to leading artists to use in cultural projects that promote mental health and wellbeing.

It took place as part of a series of talks initiated by MYTH, a company created to make positive cultural and commercial change through entertainment, talent and brand partnerships.

It was hosted at the Serpentine Pavilion designed by Counterspace, the Johannesburg-based collaborative architecture studio founded by Vally.

"Today more than ever, it is critical that the architectural community propose creative solutions that can adapt to the needs of diverse communities," said Therme Art CEO and co-founder, Mikolaj Sekutowicz.

"Counterspace's vision for the 2021 Serpentine Pavilion this year does just that, and we are proud to partner with the Serpentine in support of this inspiring multidisciplinary program."

The panel discussion was the latest event organised as part of Therme's Wellbeing Culture Forum series

This year's edition of the Serpentine Pavilion opened to the public on 11 June in Kensington Gardens, after a year's delay caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

It was designed as a place for gathering inspired by Vally's investigation of meeting spaces in parts of London that have large migrant populations.

The pink and grey structure combines abstracted elements informed by buildings such as the Fazl Mosque and East London Mosque, the Centerprise cooperative bookshops in Hackney, The Four Aces Club on Dalston Lane and The Mangrove Caribbean restaurant in Notting Hill.

The Communion event was hosted at the pavilion designed by Johannesburg-based collaborative architecture studio Counterspace

As part of the commission, Counterspace also built four sculptural fragments in different community-centered locations around the city to extend the project's reach.

Various initiatives focused on promoting sustained collaboration, including a partnership with the Serpentine's civic and education teams, have also allowed the project's scope to extend beyond the design of the pavilion.

"It has been an incredible journey to see such a diversity of uses and voices giving energy to and shaping the life of the pavilion," said Vally.

"I'm excited to continue to work on growing and developing the work and engagements that the pavilion has seeded."

Highlights from the Communion event

During this year's Design Miami/Basel, Therme's Wellbeing Culture Forum presented a talk titled Art and Architecture as Healing: Shaping a Mental Health Economy, which examined architecture's potential to create realities where healing is prioritised.

To learn more about Therme Art visit its website.

The photography is by Harry Richards Photography.

The Videos are by MONA Productions

Communion took place at the Serpentine Pavillion in London on 12 October 2021. For details of more architecture and design events, visit Dezeen Events Guide.

Partnership content

This article was written by Dezeen for Therme Art as part of a partnership. Find out more about Dezeen partnership content here.