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leah's universe: on recovery

an interactive performance, designed for people going through recovery.

music // visual art // human connection // kindness

by Gabriela Fernandez

An interactive, immersive, and transformative intimate performance designed to uplift and empower participants, enhancing their wellbeing and sense of belonging. Through this interaction, audiences engage in a form of heart-warming storytelling that encourages expression, reflection, and a sense of agency over their narratives. This project was made with the inspiration and discussion with St George's Hospital Charity, London, as part of the Live Unit in MFA Arts and Humanities. 

Through this project, hospitals become more than places of healing; they are transformed into living canvases of human emotion, expression of gratitude, and collective connection fostered through art.


"Hope is a dearest friend that I don't want to ever forget. Let love and kindness pierce through the walls."

- recovery song lyric

heartwarming immersive experience

The performance is built around a storytelling of “Leah”, a fictional character in her journey towards recovery, asking questions and prompts as: “what are the little acts of kindness that you saw today?”, or “what message do you want to give as a get well soon wishes for the patients today?”.


what they said:

“… how you held your presence with so much inviting, warmth, and care, and I think the way you kind of invited us to join the singing and journey makes a big difference to the experience as well”.

- anne, audience

what will happen in this performance?

The bespoke performance foster an intimate encounter between artists and audiences, with the artist navigating the space in the hospital context with grace and sensitivity, with song lyrics, reflective prompts, and interactive instructions that are well-thought, tested, and supervised with the hospital team before delivered to the audiences, that includes the staff, patients, and the visitors. The artist will invite the audiences to contribute their own words, stories, or message of encouragements that are then improvised in real time into rhythms and melodies, incorporated to the mini performance as a whole experience.


Audience will be invited to respond in the form they are most comfortable with—singing, speaking, writing their answers on paper, or moving around the shapes of the visual collage board designed and provided by the artist, incorporating healing colors and shapes. It brings to life a two-way experience that is emotionally resonant and visually striking, transcending boundaries of art and medicine. This performance’s strength also lies in its wish to convert sterile hospital environments into warm, vibrant spaces of creativity, empathy, and connection within the community.

it doesn't stop there. 

after the performance...

An extended, possible output of this project is the collage artwork created collectively on the live performance that can be displayed within the hospital. The artwork will include a barcode that future visitors, staff, or patients can scan to listen the actual song performed on the day in St George’s Hospital. Identity, consent, and privacy would be highly considered in the whole process.


Given the ephemeral nature of the performance, the artwork display and barcode creation can offer a further opportunity for future audiences who couldn't participate directly to still feel the benefits. By seeing relatable experiences portrayed through other’s stories, it can reduce feelings of isolation and enhance their recovery journey.

It aims to foster a sense of community and connection within the hospital, while also encourages empathy and understanding between patients, staff, and visitors, and promoting a more compassionate care approach. It not only showcases the hospital's commitment to innovative care, but also advocates for the expansion of these programs and further support/fundings in the future. Increasing awareness and engagement with therapeutic arts, advocating for the integration of music and visual art in healthcare, contributing to a cultural shift towards holistic health practices, and acting as an educational resource to the public within and beyond the hospital walls.


“It is a really good performance! The atmosphere that you created, the space where we are sitting, the light, and even the sound… All of that created that warm atmosphere, and I’m really sure if you do that with patients, they would also appreciate it.”


- arushi, audience


Top: the card (in an envelope) received by each audiences as a form of warm exchange. 

Left: result of the first performance collective collage. 22nd of March 2024.

Untitled_Artwork 7.png

future collaborations: where this can be performed

with adaptations for each context. 


hospital: in the ward, with visitors and outpatients, in public areas, etc.

Will be adapted with safe materials, clearer text, etc. Transforming the sterile feel of the hospital rooms into warm ambience that gives good memories to either patients, staff, or visitors.


Festival and Events

To be part of your event. this can be an heartwarming offer for the visitors to connect with each other and have unforgettable experience. This can be included in private events as well. 


Art Gallery

this can be done as an event in an exhibition with related themes. Will be a good opportunity to enhance the community engagement aspect of the exhibition. 


Education: School, universities

to teach empathy to children and young people, practice giving kind words to each other, planting the seed of art being used for humanity.


"As she heard the sounds... coming from somewhere: children laughing, bells are ringing, the sunrays peeking. The smile from kindhearted ones next door, little get well soon cards... a glimmer of hope."

- recovery song lyric

"the experience that you are creating, I also felt like–there was a point where I felt like I belonged here…  which is very nice. It is a very short performance right, it’s barely, like, 45 minutes to an hour. But the emotions that I had, it travelled different places, so that experience was very wholesome. Thank you for that.”

- asfah, audience

About the Artist

Gabriela Fernandez // Ina Leah - Musician, Visual Artist, Therapeutic Art Practicioner

Ina Leah, musician & visual artist from East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia. Combining her years of artistic journey with her psychology background, she presents interactive music performance, combining ethnic vocal techniques with personal lyrics and intimate accoustic. 

Heartwarming moments with her soft, meditative voice and the playfulness of visual art, collage, improvisation, and engaging audience participation through music and visual art is at the core of her work.

  • Spotify
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Our Team and Support

per the first event in 22nd March 2024

if you are an institution or an event organizer, and this project speaks to you, kindly send your inquiry to have further discussion. 

London, United Kingdom.


choose one you identify with

Thanks for submitting!

Screenshot 2024-03-25 at 13.44.31.png

Thank you, and we hope to see you soon. 

with love, Gabriela and Team

Performed at Royal College of Art, London | photos and videos taken by Aisha Sheriki and Ziwu Wong, MFA Arts and Humanities.
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