Sofie Layton (RCA) - 2020-21 Students

'Capturing and Holding the Invisible' An exploration into the equivalence of gestation and grief framed through the medical image

This PhD is an investigation into the place of the artist in the medical setting and the process of bearing witness, translating and mediating the space of illness through the artist’s practice. By examining the inner workings of the human body through an artistic, scientific and participative lens, the research sets out to examine the translation process of an artist who approaches medically-derived imagery that has been captured as part of a scientific examination process, as a way to explore personal and collective narratives, with a focus on the body with in the antenatal and the post-mortem landscape.

This research practice not only looks at the medical image but also how the image functions conceptually and artistically as part of the translation of the lived experience of illness and loss in conjunction with the parent, and in particular the mother, within and beyond the clinical setting.
This research practice is an investigation into the sick body. It will analyse the discourse surrounding the mother-and-child dyad and will question whether imaging data, researched as part of an artist’s exploration of the biomedical, symbolic and experiential reality of disease, can create new knowledge through the artist’s research practice.

Primary supervisor: Professor Victoria Walsh, RCA
Secondary supervisor: Dr Esther Teichmann, RCA

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