Division of Infection and Immunity


Saatchi gallery exhibition raises funds for IIT

20 March 2017

Embrace, an exhibition by contemporary British artist Aisha Cahn, was recently held at the Saatchi Gallery.

Saatchi Gallery

The exhibition, which took place between 15-22 March, was inspired by the science of cells and the narrative of the artist's mother's experience with cancer. Despite cancer eventually taking her life, the way in which she and Aisha approached the terminal prognosis together, was one of positivity, achieved through advanced medical treatment, faith and spirituality.

Following the passing of her mother, Aisha began researching the science of cells, in particular, cancer cells for her art work. During her research, Aisha was particularly drawn towards immunology and the work of UCL's Institute of Immunity and Transplantation. The breakthrough discovery that T cells and NK cells can destroy cancer was the initial source of inspiration for her new series, Embrace, leading her to combine art and science, something which Aisha has always reflected in her work. For this exhibition, Aisha has collaborated with The Royal Free Charities.

A percentage of the proceeds from the exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery will go towards the UCL Institute of Immunity and Transplantation. Professor Hans Stauss said:

"I'm delighted that some of the profits from this wonderful show will go towards funding the new Institute. The Institute will develop new and more effective treatments for a range of chronic conditions including cancer, HIV and diabetes. The new building will bring together teams of scientists, academic clinicians, clinical trials specialists and nurses to develop novel immune-enhancing and tolerance-inducing interventions creating a multidisciplinary and multifunctional immunology centre that will bring health benefits to millions of people worldwide."

A video recording was organised by Charles Saatchi of the speeches given by artist Aisha Cahn and Professor Hans Stauss at the exhibition.