Creative Enquiry

Creative Enquiry Presentations: exploring ‘caritas’ through creative or artistic media

At SAPC 2020 we would like to extend engagement with the complexity and inter-subjectivity of primary care by encouraging creative enquiry. This is an opportunity to engage with different forms of evidence, knowledge-creation and meaning-making. We invite creative enquiry submissions which align with the SAPC 2020 conference themes and aims. Accepted presentations will be interwoven throughout the SAPC programme.

You may use any creative medium for your presentation, for example: music, dance, monologue, painting, photography, prose, poetry, sculpture. You must submit some evidence of the created work at the time of submission and this must be accompanied by an abstract/reflection (limited to 450 words). The created work on which your abstract/reflection is based may be your own. Alternatively you may choose to present something which is not your own creation but which has deepened your own engagement with, or understanding of, primary care. We are primarily interested in the quality and depth of your accompanying engagement and thought.

The slots available for creative enquiry presentations are as follows:

  • A visual presentation displayed as a poster in the poster exhibition area
  • A 3 minute presentation to be included in a parallel session (no additional time for questions)
  • A 10 minute presentation to be included in a parallel session (with an additional 5 minutes for questions/discussion i.e. a 15 minute slot overall)
  • A workshop (of either 60 or 90 minutes duration)

How to submit

Please submit written creative texts as word documents, photographs of visual texts as JPEG files of at least 1MB file size (please do not optimise as it degrades image quality). For large files such as moving images, video (mp4) or sound please upload your files to an appropriate accessible platform or use a file transfer system such as ‘’ and email it to the SAPC ASM 2018 office labelled with the title of your submission and your name.  

Please indicate in your submission whether you are willing to give consent for inclusion of your creative piece on the SAPC website or a conference supplement.

Some examples

For examples of arts-based enquiry texts predominantly created by medical students see


What is Creative Enquiry?

We are drawing inspiration for this new kind of presentation from what is sometimes known as ‘arts-based inquiry’. This has been described as ‘the making of artistic expressions…as a primary way of understanding and examining experience (McNiff 2008, p29) Arts-based approaches invite extension of cognition and expression beyond the limitations of literal language, giving feeling form (Langer, 1957) and embracing metaphor, symbol and imagination. The arts facilitate the emergence of voice, perspective and reflexivity (Younie, 2013, 2014) as well as inviting multiple forms of knowing (Eisner, 2008) thereby extending epistemology (Seeley, 2011).

The motto of the Royal College of General Practitioners is ‘Cum Scientia Caritas’ (science with compassion). It is usual at academic conferences to focus predominantly on the science and it can be very easy to lose sight of the ‘art’ or ‘practice’ of medicine. Caritas: Creative Enquiry is an opportunity to enrich and extend our engagement with the art and practice of medicine. The aim is not to displace our attention to academic rigour, but to enhance it…and it is not about creating entertainment, but about entertaining creativity in how we think about primary health care.


EISNER, E. 2008. Art and Knowledge. In: KNOWLES, G. J. & COLE, A. L. (eds.) Handbook of the Arts in Qualitative Research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

LANGER, S. K. 1957. Problems of art: Ten philosophical lectures, New York, Scribner.

MCNIFF, S. 2008. Arts-based research. In: KNOWLES, J. G. & COLE, A. L. (eds.) Handbook of the Arts in Qualitative Research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

RICHARDSON, L. 2000. Evaluating Ethnography. Qualitative Inquiry, 6, 253-255.

SEELEY, C. 2011. Uncharted territory: Imagining a stronger relationship between the arts and action research. Action Research, 9, 83-99.

YOUNIE, L. 2013. Introducing arts-based inquiry into medical education: ‘Exploring the Creative Arts in Health and Illness’. In: MCINTOSH, P. & WARREN, D. (eds.) Creativity in the Classroom: Case Studies in Using the Arts in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. Bristol: Intellect Publishers.

YOUNIE, L. 2014. Arts-based inquiry and a clinician educator's journey of discovery. In: C.L.MCLEAN (ed.) Creative Arts in Humane Medicine. Edmonton: Brush Education Inc.