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Diabetes art exhibition launched to mark anniversary

15 October 2021

Slides artwork

A research-based art exhibition developed by a team of Cardiff University staff and researchers has been launched at University Hospital Llandough, to mark one hundred years since the discovery of insulin.

‘What Diabetes Means To Us 2021’ is a new visually informative exhibition in the hospital’s Hearth Gallery. Cardiff University School of Medicine’s Professor F. Susan Wong, in collaboration with members of the Cardiff University Diabetes Research Group and hospital Artist in Residence, Bridget O’Brien, have transformed the gallery, run by the Arts for Health and Wellbeing Programme at Cardiff & Vale Health Charity, into an exhibition focusing on the importance of Diabetes research.

The exhibition aims to provoke discussions about Diabetes, and what it means to those who live with it.

Made up of community participation and responses, science and clinical research films, artwork, research and installation, the exhibition is a collaborative achievement and celebration of all the work and dedication towards understanding Diabetes and the remarkable scientific journey one hundred years on since the discovery of insulin.

The seeds of the project behind this exhibition were sown in 2018, when Professor Wong saw illustrations for a book project where Bridget O’Brien demonstrated an interest in exploring the potential connections between science and art, in terms of creative thoughts and processes.

This led to a discussion around creative ways that the lived experience of having Diabetes could be shared with the general public, challenging or correcting some of the popular misconceptions about the condition whilst also respecting the voice of individuals directly affected.

Divided into six sections, the exhibition journeys through the History of Diabetes and Insulin, a community installation What Diabetes Means To Me, two films – basic science and Clinical Research, information About Diabetes and creative responses by Bridget O’Brien, Through the Looking Glass and A Window into the Pancreas.

The exhibition will be showcased at the Hearth Gallery across World Diabetes Day on the 14 November 2021, with the display at University Hospital Llandough running from 14 October – 15 November 2021.

The whole exhibition will also be available to view online with more information via the Arts for Health and Wellbeing website.

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