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The University of Southampton
Medical Education

Conference and exhibition highlight the “Art of Compassion”

Published: 28 July 2014
Art of Compassion
Art of Compassion Exhibition

In early July, MEDU members hosted the eleventh annual conference of the Association for Medical Humanities, which provided important opportunities for cross-disciplinary and international dialogue on the role of arts and humanities in medicine and healthcare.

The conference and exhibition ran 7-9 July and was attended by 65 delegates from the UK, Ireland, Canada, Turkey, Bulgaria, Russian Federation, Australia, and Grenada. The organising committee - led by Linda Turner - included Kathy Kendall, Larry Day, Ruth Bartlett and the artist Joel Papps. The conference brought together a range of acclaimed international speakers including academics, clinicians, filmmakers, writers, poets, and artists. It was formally opened by Professor Alex Neill, Pro-Vice Chancellor (Education).

Conference participants were also invited to see artwork from medical and occupational therapy students at Southampton and Bristol, which was exhibited in the university’s Hartley library gallery. The exhibition also featured Mark Gilbert’s portraits for Saving Faces [hyperlink] and Michele Angelo Petrone’s [hyperlink] depictions of his experience of being diagnosed and living with Hodgkin’s disease. Work by artists and students reflected the synergetic process of observing, representing and learning about health and illness and illustrated how patients can become empowered as part of this process. The exhibition was opened by Dr Chris Stephens, Associate Dean for Education in the Faculty of Medicine.

The event also involved a number of students who both performed and supported the conference organisation: Yasmin Jameel, Harley Hall, Bethan Harries and Clare Bakhtiar. The musicians were: Jacob Stone, Naveen Sivakumar, John Ochiltree, Shubha Purkayastha and Alexander Williams.

The Art of Compassion conference and exhibition was supported through a Wellcome Trust grant, the Association for Medical Humanities and the Faculty of Medicine International and Enterprise Group.

Student musicians
Art of Compassion Conference
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