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Mark Ware 

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Stroke: The Loss and Recovery of Familiarity

Familiarity may sometimes breed contempt, but it can also lead to empathy and greater understanding. In this talk, Mark Ware argues that we are hard-wired to seek familiarity. Following his stroke at the age of 39, Ware was forced to familiarise himself with the daily rhythms of life again, finding in his work and life that the familiar was his pathway to recovery and his second stage of life.


After receiving a 1st class (Hons) degree in Fine Art in the UK, Mark studied for an MFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1980, supported by a Fulbright Scholarship. He later worked successfully in video production and photography for multinational corporations, government agencies, and Broadcast news channels.



During 1996, aged 39, he had a severe stroke that brought an abrupt end to what he refers to as his ‘old life’. He now focuses on his Fine Art and has been regularly supported by Arts Council England. Since 2015 Mark has developed a series of art/science collaborations that have investigated how the natural environment can have a positive impact on wellbeing and health. Mark is the founder and CEO of The Wavelength Project, a charity that further investigates how exposure to the natural environment can be of health benefit to the public, including for those who find access to nature difficult due to disability, or because of socio-economic circumstances. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

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