UCL News


Body examined at Leventis Gallery exhibition

12 May 2010


Piece of bone ucl.ac.uk/archaeology/" target="_self">UCL Institute of Archaeology
  • UCL Museum Studies
  • UCL's Institute of Archaeology is hosting a student-run exhibition exploring how research can change and challenge issues that affect our bodies.

    Body Matters, which is curated by UCL Museum Studies postgraduate students, opens to the public at the Leventis Gallery in Gordon Square on Monday 17 May.

    Connected by the theme of bones, the work showcased in Body Matters represents a small selection of the research at UCL, but demonstrates the impact that it can have on understanding our bodies.

    It explores common perceptions about health-related issues through four key questions:

    • Can archaeology help our bodies today?
    • Do some diseases only occur at certain ages?
    • Are some diseases consigned to history?
    • Can technology substitute the body?

    The exhibition, which runs over the summer, features profiles of researchers, case studies of patients and a varied selection of objects, many of which have been used in the research.

    The Museum Studies course at UCL gives its students the opportunity to create and deliver an exhibition to gain practical experience.

    Members of the fifteen-strong project team take on the roles of researchers, designers, collections managers, writers and more.

    Project manager Greta Bertram said: "The exhibition project is one of the key practical elements of the Museum Studies course, with each student taking on a particular role in areas such as design, evaluation and collections management.

    "We've definitely been thrown in at the deep end, and it has been really challenging at times, but it has been an invaluable experience and given us an insight into the enormous amount of work that goes into putting on an exhibition.

    "With such a vast amount of research taking place at UCL, it was really difficult to narrow down the focus of our exhibition; we wanted a topic that not only connected science, archaeology and medicine, but also engaged with visitors' personal experiences and showed the impact UCL's research can have outside of the lab.

    "Archaeology can help us understand the historical relationship between humans and diseases by informing us of the latter's prevalence and development. This then increases our understanding of those diseases in their present form and how we can treat them."

    Body Matters is supported by the UCL Institute of Archaeology, the Wellcome Trust, Native Woodland and the Friends of the Exhibition.

    Due to the subject of the exhibition some human and animal remains will be on display.

    For more information, follow the links above.

    Image: top, vertebra from tuberculosis sufferer; bottom, the students carefully dismantle the previous exhibition

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