What are we doing? | April 2024

Feature image: A 1970s SciFi Iron Lung (Image created by MidJourney)

The fourth and final residency period of the LBO project began in January 2024. We’ve been working closely with the Thackray Museum of Medicine, based in Leeds, developing ideas for a six-month exhibition which is going to launch in July 2024. The initial phase of the residency was focused on open-ended creative exploration of the incredible collections at the Thackray and immersive digital technologies. We created some binaural sound recordings of the local environment, including the adjoining Harehills Road and St. James’s Hospital, used the generative AI tool Midjourney to generate imaginative visions of idealised medical technologies and health, and set up some projection mapping onto a range of medical objects, including apothecary jars, medical textbooks and posters.

An image generated using AI which shows a purple pill in the shape of a koala
A purple pill in the shape of a koala (Image created by MidJourney)

Having staff from a wide range of museum departments, including technicians, curators, archivists, and members of the marketing team take part in the activities has really enriched the early stages of the residency. After a few weeks we started to think more concretely about a possible theme for the exhibition. We wanted to choose something which would allow us to create a really engaging and exciting offer for families, but also make a real difference and enhance the medical capital of visitors.

The exhibition will be about how health can be personalised and doesn’t have to be one-size-fits all. We’re now planning for a co-production phase with community partners, and have visited the Leeds Artificial Eye Centre to hear about how these vital prostheses are tailored to individual patients’ needs. We’re also doing a series of fieldtrips to other museums in Liverpool and London, and 3D printing facilities, including FABRX and Helix.

The exhibition opens on 20 July 2024. Find out more on the Thackray Museum of Medicine’s dedicated webpage.