Artist in residence scheme

The Artist in Residence scheme is an expression of our belief in the social value of the arts and in their ability to transform and enlighten our understanding of medical and scientific research by arresting our attention and communicating ideas in novel ways which draw on and challenge a shared vocabulary of experiences, perceptions and emotions.

NEW! See the fantastic original works that our six artists have created

Jacob van der Beugel

About the project

In the modern world much of our life is organised, formulated and viewed through the use of data and ever expanding data banks. Whilst this information is generated through our own creativity and ingenuity, the resulting visualisations are often too abstract and objective to retain its inherent buried humanity for the general public. Working with the Epidemiology Cancer Statistics Group will allow a bridge to be created that links art and cancer data in order to understand a disease that so encapsulates the human condition.

The Artwork will explore the metaphor of concrete cancer, an engineering term that describes the degradation of concrete that compromises the integrity of the steel framework inside. The project will look at data surrounding haematological malignancies and humanise it through the emotional associations of blood and rusting.

'To be able to work with and understand the vital work of The Epidemiology Cancer Statistics Group is a great privilege. To find a beautiful way to communicate the difficult and emotionally charged data they generate will be artistically challenging but a central endeavour in furthering understanding of the human condition.'

About the artist

The residency will culminate in a large wall installation that utilises our familiarity with the everyday materiality of concrete and rust and highlight the fact that haematological malignancies have over 60 different manifestations and cuts through all social demographics. The ultimate aim of the work is to understand and confront that which makes us mortal, but also to raise awareness of the crucial role the ECSG plays in comprehending these very difficult diseases.

Jacob van der Beugel graduated from York University with a BA in History of Art. He then went on to train with some of the most reputed ceramic artists in Britain, and was assistant to Edmund de Waal in 2003-2004. Having set up his own studio in 2004, he has worked on various interdisciplinary projects that always stem from his belief in the importance of materials and metaphors in communication.

In 2014 this approach resulted in producing the largest contemporary ceramic installation in a stately home at Chatsworth House called The North Sketch Sequence, where the DNA of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire is translated into an entire ceramic room that humanises and captures a modern depiction of the human condition.

His work is collected internationally and held in numerous private collections. He is also currently artist in residence at The Wellcome Sanger Institute and continues to explore modern notions of the self.

Read more about his work is at

Christy Ducker

About the project

Christy Ducker will explore how wounds heal, and how this can generate poetry. Her residency will culminate in the publication of ten original poems, and two film-poems (devised by filmmaker Kate Sweeney). These outputs will be showcased nationally, at science, literature and philosophy festivals, and on the C2D2 website.

Christy’s work will be inspired by the research of Dr Dimitris Lagos, and his colleagues in Biology and HYMS. The main focus will be immune cells – how they ‘talk’ to each other during healing, how they create ‘silences’, and how this might translate into the linguistic conversation of a poem.

In addition, Christy will run ‘Poetry and Science’ workshops, encouraging the public to engage with biomedicine through creative writing.

This is a wonderful opportunity to make connections between biomedicine and poetry, exploring what it is to be alive and human.

About the artist

Christy Ducker is a poet and teacher of creative writing. Her first full-length collection of poems, Skipper, was published in April and contains work Highly Commended by the Forward Prize judges 2015. Christy’s pamphlet, Armour, was a PBS Pamphlet Choice in 2011 and a Read Regional title for 2012 - 13. Christy collaborated on the book Tyne View, which was a Journal Culture Awards finalist in 2013.

Christy’s commissions include residencies for Port of Tyne and English Heritage. She is a qualified teacher, and has extensive experience of teaching poetry and creative writing in community settings. Her current projects include the Arts Council-funded ‘North East Heroes’ project, and her residency with the Centre for Chronic Diseases and Disorders at the University of York.

Read more about her work

Anna Dumitriu

About the project

Internationally renowned artist Anna Dumitriu will collaborate with Professor Maggie Smith to explore the urgent issue of antibiotic resistance and the research being undertaken at the University of York in the hunt for new antimicrobials. The residency will lead to a new body of artwork and there will also be a participatory public workshop to communicate new research and reflect on the current and future impact of antibiotic resistance with a diverse, non-scientific audience.

The project will combine textile craft techniques, sculpture, digital technology, and bacterial bioart that uses the tools and techniques of microbiology as an artistic medium. It will look at bacterial biofilms (the ‘glue’ bacteria use to attach themselves to surfaces), investigate the role of phages as antimicrobials and explore the impact of antimicrobial resistance in chronic diseases such as Cystic Fibrosis.

I am fascinated to embed myself the research being undertaken at the University of York to artistically explore the urgent hunt for new antimicrobial agents to combat drug resistant infections. I will work with the scientists hands on in the lab and use the the tools and techniques of microbiology as artistic media.

Building on her previous artistic work around the history of antibiotics for Tuberculosis, Anna will for the first time be able to investigate the lifecycle of Streptomyces and develop an affecting artwork around the struggle to synthesise antibiotics. 

Read more about this project

About the artist

Anna Dumitriu (1969) is a British artist whose work fuses craft, technology and bioscience to explore our relationship to the microbial world.

She has worked with the Modernising Medical Microbiology Project at the University of Oxford since 2011, is a visiting research fellow in the Department of Computer Science at The University of Hertfordshire, and an honorary research fellow in the Wellcome Trust Brighton and Sussex Centre for Global Health at Brighton and Sussex Medical School.

She has an international exhibition profile, having exhibited at venues such as Waag Society, Amsterdam, Art Laboratory Berlin, V & A Museum, London and The Picasso Museum, Barcelona.

Read more about her work at

Mark Fell

photo by Lewis Ronald, courtesy of Serpentine Galleries

About the project

'One thousand and one ways of hearing' brings together four experts in hearing and sound who work in distinct ways: Mark Fell is a recognised seminal international artist working with sound and music, Dr Sandra Pauletto is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Theatre, Film and Television (TFTV) and expert in sound design and audio technology, Professor Quentin Summefield uses pioneering psychoacoustical methods combined with neuro-imaging to study spatial listening and with Dr Adele Goman uses these tools to investigate the listening performance of individuals with normal and impaired hearing.

Hearing is fundamental to communication, social interaction and learning in children and adults. Cochlear implants are the most advanced existing technology that provide a sense of hearing to a person who is profoundly hearing-impaired. Although cochlear implants enable the listener to perceive sound and patterns, it is often the case that intonation, emotions and intentions as well as music are not so clearly conveyed.

The artwork will respond to these and other issues that are identified in an initial research phase. It is envisaged that the piece will consist of a number of sculptural objects that integrate sound, light and physical forms. These will be controlled by a computer producing sound and lighting patterns. Through multiple exhibitions of the work, the project will engage the general public, and stimulate awareness of issues relating to hearing, communication, deafness and implant technologies.

About the artist

Mark Fell is a multidisciplinary artist based in Sheffield (UK). After studying experimental film and video art at Sheffield City Polytechnic he initially reverted to earlier interests in computational technology, music and synthetic sound. In 1998 he began a series of critically acclaimed record releases on labels including Mille Plateaux, Line, Editions Mego and Raster Noton. Fell is widely known for combining popular music styles, such as electronica and club musics, with more academic approaches to computer-based composition with a particular emphasis on algorithmic and mathematical systems. Since his early electronic music pieces Fell’s practice has expanded to include moving image works, sound and light installation, choregoraphy, critical texts and educational projects.

Read more about his work

Peter Myers

About the project

Peter Myers will work with Drs Katie Slocombe and Hannah Thompson of the Department of Psychology to gain an insight into cutting-edge research into autism and semantic aphasia from both the researcher and participant’s point of view. Having already a personal insight into autism, Myers wishes to broaden his understanding of other disorders, such as those resulting from strokes, and the personal impact this has on those who suffer them. The main inspiration for his art is his internal imagination and experiences, so this residency provides the opportunity to change his knowledge and understanding of these disorders and for this to then directly impact the art he produces.

He is keen for his art-making to be an organic responsive process and anticipates that the work created will include paintings, drawings, sculptures or collages. Working with the University of York students who run Artistic Autistic, he will organise local exhibitions of the artwork, workshops at local schools and stroke support groups and will publicise it to a global audience via the Artistic Autistic website

I love art and delving into this latest research, taking onboard the perspectives of researchers, patients and myself and fusing this collaboration into new, hopefully unique artforms, will I hope lead to a very successful, rewarding outcome for all involved.

About the artist

Peter Myers creates a wide variety of paintings, drawings, sculptures and collages drawing inspiration occasionally from photographs of scenes, but mostly from his internal imagination and experiences. Most of his work is abstract, introverted and highly patterned: his Asperger’s Syndrome is integral to his art, one aspect of which is his love of detail. The desire to create is intrinsic to his nature; in a sense he is an introverted extrovert expressing inner things outwardly.

Peter is an amateur artist, largely self-taught, figuring out how to do things on his own and in his own idiosyncratic way: sometimes this works, sometimes not but in either event one learns. He has exhibited in various locations, both in the UK and abroad and this year launched a website featuring products with his artwork. An adult colouring book featuring his pen drawings will be published later this year.

Read more about his work at

Laurence Payot

About the project

The residency will lead to the creation of a beautifully crafted computer game inspired by symbiosis, the living together of unlike organisms, which underpins our health particularly through the beneficial effects of the microbiome. This project builds on a previous collaboration with Professor Michael Brockhurst which created a series of living sculptures which existed in a symbiosis with the audience members.

In the game, two players situated in different geographical locations will be able to connect by transforming the shape of interactive virtual sculptures, as if touching them in real life. Interactive sound and visuals will help achieve this feeling of virtual touch, using either body tracking and sculptures displayed on screen, or augmented reality glasses.

As well as exploring the concept of symbiosis, this new work will also explore humanity’s increasing symbiosis with technology and the implications of this for our psychology, drawing upon the expertise of Professor Helen Petrie in human-computer interaction and members of the Centre for Digital Creativity.

Interactive sound, manipulated by the game players as they shape the virtual sculptures, will be developed in collaboration with Dr. Sandra Pauletto and Professor Ambrose Field, using human voices to give the sculptures an extra layer, and make the game accessible to people with visual impairment.

The look and feel for the virtual interactive sculptures will be inspired by York Art Gallery's collection, focusing on objects directly linked with human touch (such as hand-made ceramics or drapery revealing the body in classical painting.)

This innovative piece of work aims to questions contemporary health and well being issues, such as how digital technologies affect our psyche and relation to the world and each other, and how the ideologies behind symbiosis (of collaboration rather than competition) can inspire new ways of understanding of the world and of approaching the way we treat diseases.

The amazing resources at York University and great researchers collaborating on the project will allow me put together something I could not have created otherwise. Linking sound, computer technology, science, and taking inspiration from classical artworks and human relationships, Virtual Symbiosis is a piece of work that will take my interests in working with people and communities in the public realm to a virtual form.

About the artist

Laurence Payot uses the public realm as a stage to make out-of-the-ordinary things happen. People are invited to embark on a journey to transform their everyday and bring their shared utopian visions to life.

From inventing a new local folklore with the people of Dunstable, to infiltrating the digital realm with manifestations of a mysterious online tribe, her artworks take forms that connect people and challenge our perceptions of each other.

Laurence has recently been awarded the prestigious SkyArts Ignition: Futures Fund, a one-year bursary by the TV channel SkyArts, and has been commissioned by renowned museums, galleries and live art festivals including the Pompidou Centre-Metz (France), Tate Modern, Liverpool Biennial (UK) and the Belluard Bollwerk International (Switzerland).

Born in France, Laurence Payot is currently based at The Royal Standard studios in Liverpool, UK.

Read more about her work