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Prosthetics – Layers of Perception

You may remember that towards the end of last year, we published a post on an art project, “Prosthetics – Layers of Perception“, one of three being organised by SURGE III.

The project, run by artist Natalia Mesa and scientist and researcher, Morenike Magbagbeola included an online art workshop for upper limb amputees in December called “Prosthetics: Layers of Perception (Art and Science Session for Traumatic Amputees). You can revisit that post via the link at the bottom of this page.

Phil Wiles, who drew our attention to the project, specialises in engagement with Healthcare technology research with a view to helping to frame discussion around prosthetic users experience of wearing an active prosthetic hand or arm.

Phil has been in touch again to give us the exciting update on the session.

The layers of perception, when it comes to amputation and consequent use of prosthetics include the biological processes of sensation: mechanical receptors, and chemical and electrical signalling within the body, as well the personal and psychological layers of experience: trauma, complex emotions, memories, and healing. Natalia Mesa – Artist

SURGE III

SURGE III is the third edition of Post-Grad Community’s collaborative artist and researcher residency with UCL’s WEISS. It launched with a matchmaking session at UCL

Over the past 8 months, three partnerships have been commissioned as part of SURGE III, to work with patient groups to explore the role and implications of technological healthcare, through art and design. The three fascinating projects combine patient experiences and medical research with original artwork across performance, painting, sound and print.

Exhibition of Artworks

There will be an exhibition of the artworks created as a result of the workshops in The Lethaby Gallery Window Display, Central Saint Martins, between Wednesday 13 March – Thursday 28 March 2024. It is free and open to the public throughout its run. A Private View of the work will be held on Thursday 14th March from 18:30 – 20:30 where you will have the opportunity to meet the artists and researchers exploring technology’s complex role in surgery through creative means, as well as to view the art they have created because of this collaboration. If you’d like to attend the Private View, please RSVP on Eventbrite. (Link below this post.)

SURGE III – The Workshops

You can read more about these workshops and see previews of the art in the artist’s reports below. Links to the artists’ work and projects are available at the bottom of this post.

Katy Emily Kelly (MA Fine Art: Painting, Camberwell College of Arts) and Robert Stafford Williams (PhD in Medical Physics, UCL WEISS)

Katy Emily Kelly was paired with Robert Stafford Williams (PhD in Medical Physics, UCL). Together, the project links their two practices by exploring Lung Cancer (LC) and Cardiovascular Disease (CVD)  through sound, pattern and portraits.

Sarah Dixon (MA Performance: Society, Central Saint Martins) and Ryman Hashem (Senior Research Fellow in Medical Robotics, UCL WEISS).

Gut Feelings” – Sarah Dixon was paired with Ryman Hashem (Senior Research Fellow in Medical Robotics, UCL). Together, their project explores the experiences and impact of Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) (extreme nausea and vomiting during pregnancy).

Featured Artist

Natalia Mesa (MA Art and Science, Central Saint Martins) and Morenike Magbagbeola (PhD scientist and researcher in Adaptive Sensory Robotics, UCL WEISS)

Prosthetics – Layers of Perception: This workshop was created and led by Natalia Mesa and Morenike Magbagbeola. Natalia is an artist completing an MA Art and Science at Central Saint Martins, who specialises in painting, drawing and engraving, and focuses on collective memory, trauma, neuroscience and Colombia’s history in her practice. Morenike is a PhD scientist and researcher in Adaptive Sensory Robotics.

These images capture my process of creating different layers of painting and engraving to represent the “Layers of Perception” involved in Reni’s research (self-adaptive active prosthetics) and the individual stories we learned during our workshop with patients. The layers of perception, when it comes to amputation and consequent use of prosthetics include the biological processes of sensation: mechanical receptors, and chemical and electrical signalling within the body, as well the personal and psychological layers of experience: trauma, complex emotions, memories, and healing. These layers fade in and out of focus, can change order, and are always present in patient’s lives. I am attempting to capture the intensity and complexity of this experience.” (Natalia Mesa)

Natalia Mesa in collaboration with Morenike Magbagbeola, the Wellcome/EPSRC Centre for Surgical and Interventional Science (WEISS) at University College London (UCL), The University of the Arts London Post Graduate Community, and a group of people affected by upper limb amputation. CC BY-SA 4.0

Prosthetics - Layers of Perception

Prosthetics - Layers of Perception

Prosthetics - Layers of Perception


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