Alexa Wright, member of CREAM and Reader in Art and Visual Culture in the English Linguistics and Cultural Studies Department, works with artists, curators, medical scientists and practitioners to organise Hybrid Bodies: Chiasma.

This multidisciplinary research project, brings together the arts, ethics, medicine and social sciences investigates the complexities of heart transplantation.

The research culminated in two successful and well attended events:

  • An exhibition and one-day symposium at London Gallery West in Harrow in November 2017.
  • An interdisciplinary workshop at The Winchester Gallery, University of Southampton in April 2018.

Taking an artist-led approach, these interdisciplinary events focus on artworks in the process of development as a fulcrum for interdisciplinary exchange on the subject of heart transplantation and wider issues of intercorporeality and kinship.

Funded by an AHRC Network Grant, the artists involved: Ingrid Bachmann (Canada); Dana DalBo (CA); Andrew Carnie (UK); Emily Jan (CA) and Alexa Wright (UK) are using visual and media arts as the means of connecting donor families' experiences to cultural views about transplantation, embodiment and kinship.

Over two days the recent Winchester Gallery workshop and accompanying exhibition of works in progress brought together around 50 participants, including medical scientists and practitioners, artists, curators, academics, transplant recipients, philosophers and others for a series of presentations, practical and ideas-based workshops and networking events.

With a bill to decide whether England will seek to move to an organ donation opt-out system currently under consideration in the House of Commons, heart transplantation is a very timely subject.

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