Carl Sagan famously wrote, ‘All of the rocky and metallic material we stand on, the iron in our blood, the calcium in our teeth, the carbon in our genes were produced billions of years ago in the interior of a red giant star. We are made of star-stuff.’ The cosmos surrounds us; the cosmos exists within us. We live each day within an unseen symbiotic relationship between our immediate worlds (the body) and the wider influence of the universe encompassing our planet. And this intangible connection translates to the visual world through the similarities in imagery looking out into space and peering into human biology.
‘Cosmos’ is at its core an exhibition about our placement within the far-flung natural world. The show will bring together the macro and micro, outer space and the human body, blurring the lines between the two. The exhibition will hang along two corridors of the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, as part of its 15-year-old arts programme bringing art into the hospital.
Evidence shows that art inspires wellbeing and healing. Exhibiting in a hospital setting is an opportunity to provide moments of wonder or relief to patients, families and staff in what can be a stressful environment, to encourage meaningful cultural encounters, and to introduce new audiences to contemporary art.