Reviews in Cardiovascular Medicine (Oct 2022)

Interdisciplinarity and Patient Engagement: New Representations of Cardiovascular Anatomy

  • Giovanni Biglino,
  • Sofie Layton,
  • Alastair Hamer,
  • Elena Giulia Milano,
  • Massimo Caputo,
  • Jo Wray

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 23, no. 11
p. 366


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Background: This article presents and discusses the genesis, making and public presentation of two artworks by British artist Sofie Layton, namely Blueprints and The Bud, which explore the anatomy of the heart infusing it with experiential and narrative elements. Methods: Artist-led workshops with a range of audiences (cardiac patients, medical staff, medical students, creative professionals, and patient relatives) led to explore narratives and imagery that, in turn, was re-presented in artworks exploring the complexity of the cardiovascular system. Results: While positioning themselves in a long tradition of artistic representations of the heart, often purely anatomical or autobiographical, these artworks stem from a process of patient involvement and participation. Integral to the pieces is an interdisciplinary approach, which is central to arts-and-health collaborations. Conclusions: At a time in which the role of the arts in improving health and wellbeing is increasingly recognised and supported by evidence, these artworks offer an opportunity to reflect not only on ways of representing cardiovascular anatomy, but also on its experiential value and on the important of patient engagement and involvement.