Learn by heART: A Student Led Art and Anatomy Workshop

Eva Sweeney, Andrea Spencer, Sophie Steenson, Kate Clarkson-Dornan, Hannah Badger, Faye Stockdale, Amie Lowry, Grace Curry, Joseph Quinn

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review


We describe a 2 day creative workshop combining art and anatomy organised by anatomists, an artist and six students at Queen's University Belfast, UK. This workshop was held in our cadaveric anatomy facility and here attendees could observe bones and pathological specimens and create pieces of “art” based on their perceptions of the specimens provided. Pieces created included moulded organs and organelles, prints using particpant's hands overlaid with bones, plastic skulls decorated with modelling clay, and printed tote bags. This workshop introduced individuals that have never studied anatomy to examples of anatomical specimens. Inspiration for artwork was provided by examples of osteological specimens and historical specimens such as trichobezoars, excised appendices and gallstones (All activities were carried out in accordance with the Human Tissue Authority Act, 2004). This had the combined effect of fascinating and demystifying anatomy for these individuals. The six students that organised the session did so on a voluntary basis, they sought £750 in funding from QUB and organised many aspects of the marketing, catering, materials and feedback. Ms Andrea Spencer, the Artist in Residence at Belfast City Hospital was engaged to facilitate the session and provide creative direction. The sessions were attended by non-QUB international (INTO) students and a range of students from faculties across the university. Students commended “the range of artistic techniques that could be used”, the “creative environment created” and the “relaxed and supportive atmosphere” The tote bags proved especially popular, and also served as a way to increase awareness for the workshop as students wore them on campus. Our aim was to make anatomy more accessible to students across the university and to encourage students to explore their artistic talents. We will detail how such a workshop can be run and what materials may be required. The creative art pieces will be illustrated in the poster.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusSubmitted - 04 Apr 2020


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