29th Apr 2020
Next up at the Genome Gallery: The topic, the artist, and the challenges
The Wellcome Genome Campus Genome Gallery is excited to announce that we have commissioned artist Lucy Steggals to work with Wellcome Sanger Institute researchers, patient collaborators, and members of the public, to develop the next exhibition at the Genome Gallery.
The exhibition will explore research by the Sanger Institute’s Cancer, Ageing and Somatic Mutation programme that seeks to understand more about how our DNA changes over our lifetime, due to a variety of biological, lifestyle and environmental factors and how these affect our health as we get older. This creative project aims to provide an opportunity for contributors to explore the themes of the research within the context of people’s health-related experiences, and to share that outcome with each other and the public.
The work we are doing seeks to understand how the DNA in our bodies accumulates mutations as we age and the impact this may have on our health. We are looking forward to exploring our work from different perspectives in this creative collaboration.
Dr Alex Cagan is part of the Cancer, Ageing and Somatic Mutation team contributing to the project
Lucy Steggals is a visual artist interested in the dialogic relationship between people, images, places and objects. Her work focuses on site- and situation-specific work, developing projects working directly with people. Lucy often collaborates in cross-disciplinary art/science settings and was artist in residence at Papworth Hospital in 2017-18. She is drawn to human narratives. Her focus is always on the people. In this case those who do the research and those who have a lived experience of the effects of somatic mutation. She hopes to collaborate and experiment with experts (researchers and patients) to feel out new tactile, embodied ways of making visible what happens on the inside to our DNA over time.
A new challenge
Lucy’s site-specific and collaborative approach to her work means the lockdown has presented us with a challenge; how do we still engage with people, have meaningful conversations and be creative from our living rooms? Thankfully, Lucy’s skill at combining digital and analogue methods affords us an opportunity to turn a challenge into an advantage! She is currently working with prestigious cultural venues such as Kettle’s Yard, Whitechapel Gallery, and Cubitt Gallery on collaborative projects which have moved on-line.
Lucy has been setting creative invitations, stimuli from the confines of her home, sharing her interventions on Instagram – @lucysteggals (using the #Ooh0) – and inviting others to responds creatively.
So, what happens next?
Whilst, for now, we must keep closed what is usually open to the public, we will be finding ways of opening up what is usually behind closed doors: Over the coming months we will be sharing the progress of this collaborative project with you, particularly via Instagram. Follow us – @WCGengage – and watch this space!
If you would like to see more of Lucy’s work, take a look at her website, or at The Saturday Museum, a collaborative project which Lucy co-runs with George Moustakas. The Saturday Museum is an itinerant, mobile museum exploring alternative models of co-creation, and is interested in connecting people locally, nationally and internationally.
More about the Genome Gallery
The Genome Gallery is run by Wellcome Genome Campus Public Engagement and is located in the Wellcome Genome Campus Conference Centre. The Gallery comprises a mixture of core and changing exhibitions and is a space for diverse audiences to explore, reflect on and share in the research that happens on the Wellcome Genome Campus.
Under normal circumstances, the Gallery is open to the public on the third Saturday of every month as part of the Campus’ Open Saturdays, as well as for special programmed events. To keep in touch with news about this and other opportunities to connect, visit the Public Engagement team’s social media channels (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) or you can sign up to their events newsletter.