See art based on real, miniature human hearts

A previous work by one of the artists who've created work for Hearts, Catherine Richards.

Anatomically correct hearts have been one of this year's 'on-trend' motifs, and a new exhibition in Dundee pushes this further – combining the art and science of the heart to inspire and educate visitors.

Hearts includes a series of artworks based around the organ across multiple mediums with a look at groundbreaking research around heart disease and even practical medical sessions – for example on how to give CPR.

The concept for the exhibition is drawn from the work of Abertay University professor Nikolai Zhelev, who has been growing miniature hearts that even beat from stem cells. Professor Zhelev is using these hearts (below) to research a cure for heart disease.

Artists taking part include Catherine Richards and Ingrid Bachmann.

Catherine Richards at work. You can see some of her prints in the background.
Another previous work by Catherine Richards.
Work by Ingrid Bachmann
Work by Ingrid Bachmann

"Hearts feature strongly in the arts and humanities – in poetry and prose as well as in the visual arts and performance – but the social and emotional sides are rarely brought together with the science," says the exhibition's curator Clare Brennan.

“I felt like there would be a lot of scope for further interpretation, and when we started to research artists who explored the heart within their own practice and research, this certainly proved to be the case.

“The exhibition looks at the heart in transplantation, the heart as a complex system, the heart as a poetic object – even the heart as inspiration for designing a new computer game prototype, which we’ll be doing through a dedicated game jam with our students.”

“Through a programme of exhibition - that includes ‘living’ sculptures, projection, ceramics, film and more – and a series of talks, performance and workshops teaching life-saving skills such as CPR, we will celebrate the heart”

“It’s been fascinating looking at how scientific research and artistic practice can come together and challenge each other in such interesting and unexpected ways. And I think it will be wonderful for our visitors to hear about and understand the incredible research happening on our doorstep, which is normally tucked away in labs and in academic publications.”

Hearts is running alongside another exhibition combining arts and sciences, called Minds. Both have been created by Abertay University and the University of Dundee. Hearts is running from September 12-23 at the Hannah Maclure Centre at Abertay University. Minds runs from Sep 19 to October 11 at LifeSpace at the University of Dundee.

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