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Mini human organs inspire new Abertay heart exhibition

Mini human organs inspire new Abertay heart exhibition

Art and science are often seen as opposite ends of the same spectrum, but Abertay University is staging an exhibition that combines both.

Inspired by the groundbreaking work of Dr Nikolai Zhelev, who last year made headlines after using stem cells to create thousands of functioning miniature human hearts, the new exhibition Hearts opens later this week at the Hannah Maclure Centre.

It features the work of international artists Catherine Richards, Ingrid Bachmann, Martin John Callanan and Jennifer Kelly, and examines breakthroughs in life sciences research and the heart-related work of the artists.

  (Abertay University)
via STV via STV

“The exhibition was inspired by the research Professor Zhelev is carrying out at Abertay to find a cure for heart disease – something I thought would be interesting to explore from a completely different perspective," said Clare Brennan, Hannah Maclure Centre curator.

“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.

“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.

"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 in Pictures

  (Abertay University (Catherine Richards with prints in background))
via STV via STV

Above: Artist Catherine Richards working in the lab, photographing hearts gifts given to her by her transplant patients.

  (Abertay University (Catherine Richards Charged Hearts))
via STV via STV

Above: A piece from Catherine Richards's Charged Hearts exhibition, made by Catherine and her collaborators in 1996.

  (Abertay University (Catherine Richards))
via STV via STV

Above: Guests get a closer look at a previous exhibition by Catherine Richards.

  (Abertay University (Ingrid Bachmann: Pelt(Bestiary)))
via STV via STV

Above: Breathing installations which emanate sound by Canadian artist Ingrid Bachmann in her Pelt (Bestiary) exhibition.

  (Abertay University (Ingrid Bachmann: A part of me))
via STV via STV

Above: More from Ingrid Bachmann and her Part of Me work.

  (Abertay University (Prof Nikolai Zhelev - Mini heart))
via STV via STV

Above: One of Dr Nikolai Zhelev's miniature hearts, seen via microscope.

  (Abertay University)
via STV via STV

Above: More of Dr Zhelev's mini human hearts.

The exhibition opens on Friday, September 11, but Clare and Dr Zhelev will be leading a discussion at Dundee Arts Café in the McManus Gallery on Tuesday, September 8.

At the McManus event, ‘Hearts – behind the exhibition’, Dr Zhelev will talk about his research, and the scientific possibilities that stem cell research, used to created the miniature hearts, has begun to open up in the world of science and medicine.

Clare will discuss the exhibition and of the benefits of bringing together artists and scientists to share their work with each other and with a wider audience.

The event is free and begins at 6pm in the McManus Café. There is a preview for the Hearts exhibition opens on Friday, September 11, between 6pm-8pm.

The exhibition runs until Friday, October 23. More information can be found online.

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