Artists’ Books and the Medical Humanities

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British Academy Summer Showcase

An exhibit based on the ‘Artists’ Books and Medical Humanities’ research project was included in the British Academy’s annual Summer Showcase, a free festival of ideas for curious minds, which took place on 21-22 June 2019 in the Academy’s historic central London home.

Can artists’ books transform the way we think about health, wellbeing and illness? 

Since the 1980s, a growing number of book artists have used their craft to share stories about health, wellbeing and illness. These artworks give a voice to those living with disability, chronic illness or cancer, while challenging stigma and discrimination. But can they also help medical professionals to better understand their patients? Featuring multisensory works by contemporary artists, this exhibit explores the vital intersection between art and science. Handle artists’ books, learn about the lives of the makers, and craft your own book to take home.

Lead exhibitor: Dr Stella Bolaki, University of Kent

Co-exhibitors, Artists Egidija Čiricaitė and Darian Goldin Stahl

Artists’ books by: Sophie Adams, Judith Alder, Penny Alexander, Karen Apps, Gunilla Åsberg, Gaby Berglund Cardenas, Lizzie Brewer, Julie Brixey-Williams, Sally Chinea, Egidija Čiricaitė, Allison Cooke Brown, Amanda Couch, Bernard Fairhurst, Elizabeth Fraser, Sue Hague, Martha A. Hall, Andrew Hladky, Deborah Humm, Gemma Lacey, Pauline Lamont-Fisher, Mindy Lee, Andrew Malone, Richard Nash, Anne Parfitt, Corinne Perry, Stevie Ronnie, Mary Rouncefield, Erin K. Schmidt, Alison Stewart, Randi Annie Strand, Noriko Suzuki-Bosco, Ruchika Wason Singh, Amanda Watson-Will.

Photos from the exhibit - Flickr Gallery

Photos from the exhibit – Flickr Gallery,
The British Academy Summer Showcase 2019, Photographers: Benedict Johnson; Alastair Fyfe © The British Academy

Visitors' Feedback

Visitors’ Feedback – Flickr Gallery,

Read Stella Bolaki’s blog posts about the exhibit:

“How can artists’ books communicate experiences of illness?”

“Five mindfulness activities that can improve mental health”

Further information on this exhibit and the British Academy 2019 Summer Showcase can be found at: