In 2013, Art in Global Health set up artist residencies in six Wellcome Trust-funded research centres as a way of teasing out some of the more personal, philosophical, cultural and political dimensions of health research. This exciting project was born out of Wellcome Collection's desire to engage the curious public globally with the health research that the Trust funds - in Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, Thailand, Vietnam and the UK. 

Watch a video summary of the project, download the full report, or read a presentation on the project on this page.

Caption: This film by Barry J Gibb, made to accompany the work of the artists involved in the Art in Global Health project, provides a whistle-stop tour of each artist, their early thoughts about their residency and a rare opportunity to see health research from a more connected, global perspective. This video is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Art in Global Health was a £400,000 project by Wellcome Collection (part of the Wellcome Trust) to support the creation of art works that explore, in surprising and insightful ways, how global health research is conducted and how its findings are used.

Residencies were established with the five Wellcome Trust major overseas biomedical research programmes in Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, Thailand, and Vietnam and with the Sanger Institute in the UK. It was specifically stated that the aim was neither to ‘sell’ a particular research project, nor to anatomise it. Rather, the project aimed to investigate a series of particular local scientific projects across the various sites, and to build up a comparative impression of global health research, both in terms of the process of research itself and its place in local and global society.

The project began with the appointment of an artist or group of artists from each of the participating countries to work in residence (for approximately 6 months) at the research centre of that country. The recruitment of the artists was led by the project manager, independent curator Danielle Olsen, in collaboration with the individual research programmes.

The emphasis was on finding contemporary artists with a research based approach rather than artists of a particular medium. It was hoped that the interaction between artist and scientific institution would provide opportunities for researchers to explain (and perhaps question and reframe) the relevance of their work.

The chosen artists were given a wide brief: to find out about the research being undertaken, to interact with scientists and team members from other disciplines (anthropologists, ethicists, economists, educators, etc.), and to produce work in response to the processes of research and discovery they observed.

Download the full project report Credit: Wellcome Collection (2016)

Download presentation exploring the key insights and learning from the project. [PDF 1141KB] Credit: Sian Aggett (2016)

This resource came out of the 2016 Wellcome Trust Art of Health: exploring creative engagement with health Research workshop. Visit the workshop page on Mesh for more resources like this plus information on the workshop and its outcomes.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


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