School of Health in Social Science

Chris Dooks

Dr Chris Dooks is an Honorary Research Fellow at CCRI and freelance interdisciplinary artist, filmmaker and community arts practitioner.

Dr Chris Dooks
Dr Chris Dooks

I am passionate about wellbeing practice and work in direct collaboration with clients at North Edinburgh Arts, WHALE and in various schools and colleges. I develop theoretical frameworks and adaptations to challenge the ‘one-size-fits-all’ mindfulness panaceas. As a Buddhist, mindfulness is my practice, but I am wary of the zeitgeist. I prefer to develop ‘idio-holistic’ approaches to wellbeing where the client is an active participant in a collaborative series of encounters.

My 2015 studio doctorate and exegesis The Fragmented Filmmaker: Emancipating The Exhausted Artist looked at housebound survival through interdisciplinary arts, with an emphasis on sound art and vinyl records. This was made over a six-year period at The University of The West of Scotland. I am also an electronic musician releasing sound art and electronica on various labels (see full profile) and I sometimes perform live work with film material I have produced. I live for residencies, and am a very process-based artist, falling into the category of artists who are never truly happy unless engaged in their work! 

Born in Teesside, I have lived in Scotland for 28 years, and my degree in film came from the then Edinburgh College of Art in 1991-94. I moved quickly into both education and broadcast television directing in my mid-twenties. After a change in health around the millennium (I had an aggressive form of M.E.) I defined myself as an artist, as my filmmaking practice began to fragment into the elements of film; photography, texts, soundtracks, graphic design, podcasts - this became the Fragmented Filmmaker of my doctorate title.

I feel there is a paradox in wellbeing research - that those closest to encounters in illness have the least energy in which to explore their insight or research it, and the healthiest are often so far removed from that kind of lived experience that it will often bypass, or jeopardise the agency of first-person experience. Therefore, as my health has reached a kind of equilibrium, I feel at home at CCRI where I am both involved in ‘insider’ and ‘outsider’ culture.


Find out more below such as current research projects and outputs.