Grants awarded: Large Arts Awards

Project summaries of Wellcome grants awarded under the scheme ‘Large Arts Awards’. Large Arts Awards have been replaced by the Public Engagement Fund.

Previously, Large Arts Awards funded artistic projects that enabled artists and audiences to explore health research. 




Dominik Czechowski




Euphonia is a participatory artwork by Emma Smith, building on the ‘singing’ language devised for her recent project 5Hz, to propose a future evolution of the human voice. Through collaboration with Ian Cross, Robin Dunbar, Lauren Stewart and Victoria Williamson, Euphonia will consist of a polyphonic score and interactive sound installation and will explore the inherent musicality of voice.

The work will be developed through public workshops devised by the artist in collaboration with academics. A score will be composed concerning the musicality of voice and the potential for social bonding by singing as a group. The score will be devised for the collective voice and will be accessible through multiple senses.

Informed by academic research into the social voice, the artist will construct a participatory echo chamber and record the score with a polyphony choir. An interactive sound installation will be created in an echo chamber to which visitors will be invited to add their own voices, creating an interactive engagement space.



Jonathan Haynes

Ridiculusmus Theatre Company

Ridiculusmus Mental Health Trilogy: Dialogue as the Embodiment of Love


The aim of Dialogue as the Embodiment of Love is to promote a dialogical approach to supporting people experiencing mental health crises, to challenge the medical model and share our research in a series of performances and debates. 

It is a convergence of the experimental treatments and dialogic preoccupations explored with biomedical collaborators in The Eradication of Schizophrenia in Western Lapland, Give Me Your Love and Grief. It comprises: a UK tour of Give Me Your Love, the second instalment of the trilogy exploring collaborative research into MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for war veterans with treatment-resistant post-traumatic stress disorder; R&D and production of the final part of the trilogy, Grief, investigating the erosion of public mourning rituals and informed by the latest dialogical approaches to complicated grief disorder.

It will also feature the presentation of the complete trilogy at key UK venues and festivals and a programme of public participation activities to facilitate discussion and destigmatise mental illness, disseminating six years of research into innovative treatments, and exploring and celebrating the theme of dialogue as a curative tool.



John Walter

SMART Art Agency



I will use my artistic practice to translate the latest research on viral capsids into a new body of work, including inflatable sculptures, bronzes, a live bar, performances, videos, drawings and prints. The exhibition will be accompanied by a website, a catalogue and series of events.

As resident artist in infection at the Department of Infection and Immunity at UCL, CAPSID will create a discursive framework in which Professor Gregory Tower and his team’s research can be debated in a playful and provocative way. The project will extend the public engagement work of the department to an adult audience considering a range of questions about viral replication, the role that space plays in viral transmission, the relationship between hostility and hospitality, and the way that infection can open up conversations about identity.

New scientific knowledge about how the HIV capsid works in the host cell, how it fuels itself and how the hexamer functions in the process of viral replication will inform a new installation that addresses ideas for audiences about how culture is transmitted.


Helen Marriage

Artichoke Trust



Curated by Artichoke and developed by Simeon Nelson in collaboration with Dr Simon Walker-Samuel and a team of artists and scientists, Cosmoscope links biomedical and physical science in a lesson in humanity. From the infinitesimal to the infinite, Cosmoscope draws on our ability to look into worlds deeper than we ever have to re-examine the human body within the cosmos. 

A spectacular light machine will project onto landmark buildings combining a compelling aesthetic and a powerful narrative to introduce the widest audience to the beauty and wonder of life, aiming to democratise science.

Lauren Adair

Cardboard Citizens

Cardboard Citizens presents: Meta


Theatre company Cardboard Citizens and a team of cognitive neuroscientists will collaborate to create an original piece of interactive forum theatre that educates and excites 2,000 young people about the development of their brains and the potential impact this has on their thoughts, feelings and behaviours. 

Meta comprises the R&D, production, touring and evaluation of this model as an artistic tool to increase public understanding of and capacity to think differently about adolescent experience and to support young people’s development of skills and strategies to reflect on and regulate their emotions.

Steven Bode

Film And Video Umbrella

Lindsay Seers


‘Every Though There Ever Was’ is an ambitious moving image installation by Lindsay Seers, to be staged at galleries in Manchester and Edinburgh. Honing her understanding of contemporary neuroscientific enquiries into schizophrenia, and extending her longstanding interests in the nature and phenomenology and consciousness, Seers will employ kinetic, robotically choreographed projection screens to dramatise the complex, sometimes turbulent dynamics of the psyche.

The work will consider historical representations of schizophrenia and contemporary insights into the condition achieved through the use of virtual reality, while highlighting figures from the past such as pioneering Victorian surgeon James Miranda Barry.


Abigail Addison

Animate Projects Limited

Silent Signal


Silent Signal uses animation to explore how research into genetics, immunology and epidemiology is advancing our understanding of how the human body communicates internally. By bringing together six artists and six scientists to creatively explore research, we are asked to reflect on its future applications and impact. The artists will be using animation techniques to simulate the perspective of the scientific equipment, incorporating real data, algorithms and coding to produce their artwork. Silent Signal comprises six collaborative projects producing animations for online and gallery exhibition, events, workshops, educational resources and online materials to share learning.

Professor Richard Sandell

University of Leicester

Exceptional and Extraordinary: unruly bodies and minds in the medical museum


In medical museums, disabled people have often been the exceptions that prove the rule, presented in reductive and dehumanising ways that underpin negative ideas about what and who is deemed different, deviant, problematic. Four new artworks by critically acclaimed and high-profile artists will offer new ways of seeing that question and stimulate public, professional and media debate around the social, cultural and ethical implications of medicalised ways of understanding difference that pervade biomedical professional practice as well as shape broader public attitudes.


July 2013

Anna Ledgard

The Barometer of my heart


The Barometer of My Heart is a participatory arts project exploring how erectile function impacts on masculinity and male health. Its feasibility has been explored in research and development (WT 093426).  Erectile dysfunction (ED) is an important marker of poor male cardiovascular and psychological health, yet 50-80% of men do not seek advice on the subject.  Impotence is stigmatised and therefore hidden.  By engaging with narratives of men with ED we can examine associations between erectile p otency and a man's place in society. The project will consider how sexual potency affects how we identify ourselves; how we celebrate getting older when ageing is characterised by reduced physical capacity. It will examine the stigma of impotence and challenge the phallo-centric view of masculinity. Work will begin September 2013 with an arts residency with men attending ED clinics at St. Georges Hospital with endocrinologist Dr Seal.  Residencies will also take place in Black Rock Asset Man agement; Mosques; and Haverford West Military Base. Residency material will be honed into site-specific, mixed-media public performances for presentation in East London September 2014 in which audiences will experience labyrinthine-like journeys through installation, performance, film, sound and sculpture. This dynamic arts-science collaboration, exciting and bold in both private process and public outcome, aims to construct new forms of language to talk about potency and the role of art  in creating communities that are prepared to discuss this taboo, thus contributing to wider bio-cultural discourses on masculinity.

Yvon Bonenfant

Extending the Vivacious Voice: Uluzuzulalia, Voice Bubbles and the Voice Trunk.


We wish to apply the discoveries, creative methods, and learning from our Wellcome-supported R&D project 'Uluzuzulalia' to develop and deliver innovative vocal artwork for children aged 6-11. We will continue to put audience experience at the core of sensual, adventurous and refined creative experiments with the audience's own vivacious voices. We will draw from compositional  approaches and aesthetic impulses that plunder experimental music, fringe theatre & performance, digital interactivity, and design-led immersive performance to celebrate vocal individuality and daring, and thereby expand the boundaries of vocal art for children. The project has three strands. One develops an iPad app, 'Voice Bubbles', whose vibrant and sensual visual design and sonic content will draw child and family users into interactive vocal creavity, allowing them to record, 'paint' with, organise, play back, and discover improvisatory delight in their body's extended vocal sound. The second is a pe rformerless installation, 'Voice Trunk', whose layered, cork-bark exterior will open into a sound-light-and-texture wonderworld, inside which audience are enticed into extending and creatively manipulating their audiovisual worlds using vocal play as source material. Alongside the above, we wish to refine and improve the content, design, and audience engagement strategies for the original piece, 'Uluzuzulalia', and expand its reach via a national tour. These outcomes, supported by the pr oject web site, will create and disseminate an original suite of interactive works which stimulate reflection on the human vocal body's nature, and its relationship with sensation and emotion, celebrating our vocal anatomies' unique, creative individualities.

Andrew Dawson

The Russian Doctor


This project dramatises, for the first time, Chekhov's largest non-fiction work, Sakhalin Island, for both a theatre audience and students in universities and schools.  In 1890 Chekhov travelled across Siberia to the penal colony on Sakhalin Island. He went not just as an established writer but as a doctor and scientist. During his 3 months on Sakhalin, he detailed the living conditions and diseases of 10,000 convicts and exiles, hoping to change Russia's attitudes towards incarceration, and , at the same time, gain the respect he felt lacking from the medical community. Although his resulting medical thesis was rejected, he published it as a book teeming with facts and rich with an unquenchable genius for narrative and lyrical observation. The research and development award provided support for Andrew and Jonathan's journey to Sakhalin Island, where they visited two museums dedicated to Chekhov and the places he refers to in his book.  As part of the R&D, 7746 of his record car ds have now been translated into English. Fusing this invaluable content with his unique style of performative theatre, Andrew will explore Chekhovs historical medical descriptions within the context of a live performance. Theatre needs to particularize; medical history, to generalize; we combine these two forms of knowledge with a one-man performance portraying multiple characters, bringing to life individuals stories and amplifying Chekhov's experience. Collaborating with Bristol Old Vic, we w ill entertain and educate, following Chekhov in combining science with art, and showing how his experience on Sakhalin shaped his subsequent writing.

Shona Illingworth

Lesions in the landscape: Claire and the Island of Hirta


This three-year project will explore the effects of amnesia and cultural erasure on an individual and society through a major new video and multi-channel sound installation, a publication and series of forums. Artist Shona Illingworth will collaborate with scientists Martin Conway and Catherine Loveday, and Claire Robertson, a woman with severe retrograde amnesia and prosopagnosia (face-blindness). The collaboration will draw on new neurological insight into Claires condition, gained through res earch using EEG and new sensory operated camera technology to access previously inaccessible memories. The experience of amnesia is often very difficult to share and can be further complicated by the incidence of anasognosia,  a lack of insight into ones condition. This has profound implications for both the individual and for the study of the condition. This project builds on an extensive exploration of Claires experience of her condition through collaborative creative exchange supported by  the Wellcome Trust. Parallels between Claires isolating and disorientating experience of amnesia and the complex histories and broken cultural memory of the remote St Kilda archipelago form the basis of this work. The analogies between Claire's condition and the physical and cultural history of St Kilda are striking. Woven together in a meticulously constructed new body of work, they provide potential for a multilayered, and thought provoking exploration of the powerful synergies between the  complex space of the mind, and that of the outside world and in turn, the implications of amnesia and cultural erasure for social constructions of identity, place and location.


Martina Amati

Cowboy Films



Under will be a multi-screen video installation that brings to life the experience of free- diving, the act of swimming underwater without artificial aids, into an urban space. The visual immersion would transport the audience emotionally, giving a sense of sub aquatic life and pair this with creative representations of the physiological effects of free diving on the body. The audio track will be a musical score layered with divers’ description of their experience juxtaposed with objective scientific content and interviews with scientists.

Mark Neville

Bringing the War Home


Using artist Martha Rosler's famous anti-Vietnam photomontage series 'Bringing the War Home: House Beautiful' as an inspirational visual starting point, artist Mark Neville will create both a short film and a new photo book. Together these will investigate the biomedical, psychological, and social impact of adjustment and other disorders such as PTSD amongst British troops returning from war zones. Working directly with people involved at all levels in the treatment of adjustment and other disorders, from the consultant specialists and their patients to policy-makers at the Ministry of Defence (MoD), and employing unpublished photographs the artist took in Helmand Province together with new portraits of servicemen who have recently returned to the UK, Neville will make a new kind of book-based artwork. Neville's film will similarly explore the notion of realism within contemporary art practice, combining interviews with constructed, symbolic and allegorical sequences filmed using an ultra slow-motion movie camera. The movie will feature some sequences Neville filmed in Helmand last year, and interweave these with new interviews and 'dream sequences'.

Edward Wickham

The Clerks

Tales from Babel


Plain Sense/Roger go to yellow three builds upon and expands The Clerks’ previous Trust-supported work, Roger go to yellow three, a musical drama about how we hear. Created by Edward Wickham and Christopher Fox, with help from a Small Arts Award, the work – scored for the six voices of The Clerks - explores in an entertaining and innovative way, the neuroscientific, psychological, and linguistic challenges of hearing words in a complex auditory environment – the so-called ‘cocktail party problem’.


Steven Bode

Film and Video Umbrella

In the Zone


‘In the Zone’ investigates the time when an athlete attains a heightened state of performance, in which body and mind are operating in unison, at maximum impact and with optimum flow, with the increased levels of confidence. The distinguishing feature of this elusive temporary state, and the various biomedical perspectives that inform it, will be highlighted in four newly-commissioned moving-image artworks generated by four artist-scientist partnerships. The contributing artists and scientists are: Dryden Goodwin and Elsa Bradley; Cornford and Cross and Dr Richard Ramsey; Susan Pui San, Tali Sharot and Nicky Clayton; and Roderick Buchanan and Dr David Shearer. All four new works will be shown at De la Warr Pavilion in summer 2012.

Mark Boulos

Forma Arts & Media Ltd

Cinema 3


Cinema 3 will be an immersive art installation that induces an out-of-body experience in the viewer. The work will be presented in a specially designed exhibition environment, in which viewers watch live 3D video footage of themselves on a screen as they appear to ascend from the ground and fly through the air, and at the same time feel as though they are floating. The work is developed by Mark Boulos and Professor Olaf Blanke who has carried out ground-breaking experiments in this area.