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Foreign Bodies, Common Ground

Thursday 14 November 2013 - Sunday 16 March 2014

Six artists, six countries.

B-Floor Theatre, Lêna Bùi, Elson Kambalu, Miriam Syowia Kyambi and James Muriuki, Zwelethu Mthethwa, Katie Paterson.

What happens when you set up six artist residencies in different medical research centres throughout the world? This intimate exhibition showcases a diverse body of work from the artists who worked in research centres in Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, Thailand, Vietnam and the UK.

The artists were invited to spend at least six months exploring the activity of researchers and produce new work in response to their experiences. The result is a series of moving, challenging and humorous works, richly varied in form and tone. They record journeys taken within the complex realm that lies between scientific processes and local communities, often on the frontlines of communicable diseases. 

Please note that the artworks Voracious Embrace and Invisible Currents by Lêna Bùi have been temporarily removed from display for conservation reasons.


  • Events


    A series of events at Wellcome Collection to accompany 'Foreign Bodies'.

  • The artists

    The artists

    About the artists in Foreign Bodies, Common Ground.

  • Art in Global Health

    Art in Global Health

    The artists in 'Foreign Bodies, Common Ground' were part of 'Art in Global Health', a series of six artist residencies in six Wellcome Trust-funded research centres. The residencies teased out some of the more personal, philosophical, cultural and political dimensions of health research.


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