CDT student Marica Muffoletto collaborated with postgraduate students from the Royal College of Art (RCA) as part of ART x SCIENCE, an exhibition connecting audiences with cutting-edge biomedical engineering research in the Science Museum, as part of the Great Exhibition Road Festival on 9-10 October.
Marica worked with artists Sophie Richter and Elizabeth Folashade to explore research into how trauma can have an impact on the structure and function of the heart. Their exhibit, Hidden Stories of the Heart, translates experiences of extreme stress into abstract models and sounds of the heart.
Marica said: “Working with Elizabeth and Sophie was a great experience; they had plenty of creative ideas and were both a great source of inspiration. The concept of our exhibit came from a conversation with Elizabeth, who is a trained counsellor with a long-lasting history of dealing with subjects affected by trauma and pain. We realised we both shared a strong interest in unveiling the stories of these people and relating them to science.”
Elizabeth added: “Over the years, my findings about the hidden properties of papier-mâché as a major material in my art practice and its metaphorical representation of women’s resilience have been rich and inspiring. We used this technique to create Hidden Stories of The Heart, which served as a timely intervention to raise awareness of the effect of trauma on the heart health of women.”
Over two days, the event attracted over 2,000 visitors. The creative approach enabled attendees to connect with the research and stimulated endless conversations between the public and the exhibitors. Sophie Richter said: “It has been a wonderful experience to see visitors interact with the exhibition. There has been a huge interest around the stories and topic of trauma and women, which made us realise how little we openly hold discussions and that we need to bring such stories more often to the forefront to inspire change.”
In addition to Marica, Julie Sigurdardottir, PhD student at the School of Biomedical Engineering & Imaging Sciences at King’s College London, also developed an exhibit with a team of RCA students for the event.
“ART x SCIENCE has been an incredible journey of collaboration, consultation and creativity. It has been fantastic to see artists, scientists, and community groups share their expertise and experiences to create two artworks that shine a light on the human experience of healthcare and provide a voice for women who are rarely given a platform to share their stories.”
Bella Spencer, Public Engagement Officer, Centre for Doctoral Training in Smart Medical Imaging and the project’s co-organiser