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Emily Briselden-Waters

MA work

Circus of Anxiety

Circus of Anxiety attempts to widen the understanding around women's mental health, focusing specifically on the experience of anxiety. The title ‘Circus of Anxiety’ derives from the historical practice in which male doctors forced female patients displaying symptoms of hysteria to perform for an audience.  

First hand research has been collected by interviewing medical professionals, mental health activists and women who suffer from anxiety. Drawings of what individuals imagine takes place within their own brain when they experience feelings of panic and anxiety have inspired costumes, set design and dance that aim to make the invisible thought process tangible. The element of performance is this time used in a positive way.

Mental health should be seen, spoken about and celebrated.


  • MA Degree


    School of Communication


    MA Information Experience Design, 2017

  • Emily is a designer whose practices takes on many forms including: set design, moving image, art direction, graphic design and exhibition design. The aim is to curate the whole experience. Emily has worked on projects with international museums, galleries, music production companies and fashion houses.

  • Degrees

  • BA Graphic Design, Manchester School of Art, 2013; Foundation Degree, Leeds College of Art, 2009
  • Experience

  • Audio Visual Installation 'Withing the Walls' Glow Festival, Studio 3 Arts, Creative Barking and Dagenham, 2016; Stage Visuals, Rock, Paper Scissors Tour, 2016; Co-founder Syrup Magazine, 2016; Designer, Heart and Lung Convenience Store, Imperial College, London 2015; Exhibition producer & Designer, National Football Museum, Manchester 2013 - 2015; Installation design, Liverpool international festival of psychedelia, 2015; Digital Media Labs Residency, 2014; Co-founder Inprint Liverpool, 2013 – Current
  • Exhibitions

  • Jena Fulldome Festival, Jena 2017; Other Exhibition, Royal College of Art, 2016; Memories of The Future, Machines room London, 2015; MAN Exhibition, Manchester 2015; Play On Manchester, 2014
  • Awards

  • JANAS Student Award Jena Fulldome Festival, 2017; Peter Saville Alumni Award, 2013
  • Conferences

  • Institutionalised, Royal College of Art, 2017
  • Publications

  • Syrup Magazine, Issue 1, 2016