Project dates: June 2022 - November 2023

Creativity connecting communities to the work of the Biodiscovery Institute

Abstract design with four red circles

heart is a creative exchange. The project uses textiles to engage communities with the scientific research of the Biodiscovery Institute.

Based at University of Nottingham, the Institute works to prevent and cure disease. The project offers local people an insight into this important work. It is a chance to learn about the impact research will have on wellbeing; to add scientific context to their own stories of recovery and loss; to ponder the possible futures that the Biodiscovery Institute‘s work will bring about.

heart is a collaboration between City Arts and the University of Nottingham.


Workshops were a chance for the project participants to learn new creative skills. They were led by experienced textile artist Anna Wickramasinha and held at City Arts and the Muslim Community Organisation in Sneinton.

Multiple hands creating tie-dye in workshop
Community members create in workshop at Muslim Community Organisation in Sneinton

Sessions covered techniques including embroidery, embossing, appliqué and printing. The informal, creative setting of a workshop helps people open up to discussing the research of the Institute. They were attended by academics, who explained, discussed and debated their work with participants. In an inclusive and accessible environment, participants were able to learn and form their own opinions about the research.

Workshop participants talking whilst cutting textiles


Artist and participants are collaborated on a textile artwork that communicates the ideas and information they learned during the sessions. Showcased in the Window Gallery at City Arts, the brightly coloured labcoat brought greater public awareness to the Institute’s work. The Window Gallery is a street facing exhibition space seen by hundreds of people a day.

Brightly coloured patchwork labcoat

Library Workshops

Inspired by the heart labcoat, City Arts and the Biodiscovery Institute ran workshops at Clifton Library, using art to teach the public and school pupils about the cells and structures in the human heart. The resulting heart cell inspired textile artworks were bound into a book by artist Anna Wickramasinha, and displayed at the Library. Schools that took part include Forest Fields Primary School, Dovecoat Primary School and Our Lady of Perpetual Succour.

Children in green uniforms placing their hands together on a colorful, tactile educational activity mat.

Project Team