Anna Bhushan BA MA FHEA, Teaching Fellow

t: 02920 415578

Specialist Subject Areas

Narrative, book and editorial Illustration
Visual Metaphor
Contemplative pedagogy


BA (Hons) Illustration, University of Brighton
MA Communication Art & Design, Royal College of Art
FHEA Art & Design
Cardiff Met Student Led Teaching Fellowship


Anna Bhushan is an illustration practitioner and lecturer with a background in narrative, book and editorial illustration. She has exhibited her paintings internationally and her work has been published by The Folio Society, John Murray, Random House, The New York Times, The New Yorker and The Guardian. Since 2008, Anna has been teaching on undergraduate and postgraduate Illustration courses and in 2013 Anna was awarded a Student Led Teaching Fellowship. Current PhD research investigates the relationship between contemplative practice, learning and creativity for students of art & design.

Current Research

The aim of the current PhD research is to contribute to new pedagogical knowledge by studying the effects of natural breath meditation on the learning experience of students of art & design. Within this context the research will investigate the inter-relationship between mindfulness, creative learning, motivation and wellbeing.

Definitions of mindfulness vary but most agree on the significance of intention and attention, which are purposeful, focused on the present moment and accompanied by an attitude of acceptance. Debates within this sphere highlight the importance of appropriate and sensitive application of mindfulness teaching within new contexts.

Evidence indicates that mindful meditation practice has wide ranging mental health benefits, particularly reduced anxiety, depression and increased wellbeing and emotional resilience. Studies in HE suggest that mindfulness interventions play an important role in addressing the mental health needs of students and may improve attention, interpersonal relationships and academic performance. The affective domain of education is concerned with emotions, attitudes and values. This research investigates whether natural breath meditation has measurable benefits for students of art and design and therefore a role to play in an educational approach that acknowledges affective learning and its impact on the creative response.

The literature surveyed supports the hypothesis that mindfulness could have a beneficial effect on student creativity. Cognitive flexibility, insight problem solving and divergent thinking are important markers of creativity and learning. They are positively correlated with open monitoring styles of mindful meditation practice. Positive affect has been found to enhance creativity and is associated with the psychological benefits of mindfulness practice.

This is the first practice-led PhD to investigate the effect of breath awareness meditation on students of art and design. Initial findings suggest that particular transferrable skills and attitudes which are important for students creative learning that can change as a result of mindfulness practice.

Principal Publications and/or Exhibitions

The Bhagavad Gita The Folio Society, August 2011
Rhymes for Ranga Random House India, August 2010
Midnight’s Children The Folio Society, 2009
The Birthday Book Jonathon Cape, November 2008
Pictures and Words: New Comic Art and Narrative Illustration Laurence King, September 2005
The Perfect Digital Portfolio AVA Publishing, April 2003

‘Then, Now, After…’ Brighton University Gallery, January 2013
Pilgrimage Wiltons Music Hall, November 2012
Cardiff Design Festival The Old Library, September 2011
AOI Images 34 London College of Communication, London, September 2010
A Delicate Point Osilas Gallery, New York, February 2010
L-Machines Gallery OED, Cochin, India, November 2009
Anomolies Rossi and Rossi, London June 2009
Wonder What the Others are Up To Gallery OED, Cochin, India, April 2009
Convulsive Illustration Market Gallery, Glasgow, November 2007
Sultana’s Dream Exit Art, New York, August 2007
Erasing Borders The Queen’s Museum of Art, Flushing, New York, February 2007
The Artist’s Book QBOX Gallery, Athens, Greece, November 2005
Poem as Image The Studio Gallery, New York, September 2005
Pictures and Words Magma gallery, London, September 2005
Sargam New York University, New York, April 2005
Fatal Love The Queen’s Museum of Art, Flushing, New York, February 2005
Enter the Lions Den Circus gallery, London, August 2004
Ambit Chelsea Arts Club, London, August 2004