Wellcome Trust

A: Would you refer one or two specific programs that are very well examples of combining these two together?

C: I hate singling out projects because there are so many good ones. But there’s a particularly interesting project that’s happening at the moment, that comes out of a long-term collaboration between an artist and scientist. Artist film-maker Shona Illingworth has a personal and long-term interest in memory as a collective experience, but also memory in relation to locations and space. Shona works with a psychologist, Martin

Conway, whose research is in autobiographical memory. They worked in the past on a project called ‘Balnakiel’ which is a place in the highlands of Scotland where Shona was brought up. She made a film about her experiences of living in this very particular-location which is also used as a military training site. The community lived with everyday experiences of bombs being dropped and planes going overhead, so the collective experiences of the community had a deep impact on Shona as a person. She worked with Martin to explore how we store and retain memories, using the act of drawing as a technique for documenting how memories are made and retrieved. They are now working on their new project with a woman who had lost her memory. She has no autobiographical memory, but she also can’t keep new memories. They’ve been working closely with her to explore her experiences, not only to give her a better understanding of her own condition, but also to help Shona and Martin gain a better understanding of how her brain works and the personal experience of this condition. This is a long-term collaboration which has resulted in not only new artistic work but they’ve been able to explore new scientific enquiries as well.


C:我不太喜歡單獨挑選某個項目來說明,因為實在有太多好項目了。但 現在有一個正在進行的項目我認為特別有趣,是藝術家和科學家長期 合作的項目。這個藝術家是電影製作人,叫做紹娜•伊林沃思(shona illingworth),她對記憶作為集體經驗的話題有著長期的興趣,記憶還 與地方、空間相關。紹娜與一位名叫馬丁•康威(martin conway)的心理 學家合作,馬丁的研究方向也是關於自傳式記憶的。他們過去有個項目叫做《百納奇爾(balnakiel)》,balnakiel是紹娜成長的地方,在蘇格蘭高地上。她製作了一部關於她這片土地的影片,balnakiel不但是她成長的 地方,還是軍事訓練用地。社區群體每天都有著扔炸彈、飛機盤旋的經 歷,所以這些集體經驗也深深影響著紹娜個人。她與馬丁合作一起探討 記憶是怎麼保存和維持的,像製圖一樣記錄記憶是怎麼產生和重拾的。 他們現在的新項目與一位失去記憶的女士合作。這位女士沒有自傳式的記憶,但是她也不能保存新記憶。紹娜與馬丁的合作在於探討這位女士 的體驗,不僅讓她更清楚自身的情況,同時也讓紹娜和馬丁了解到這位 女士的腦是如何運轉的,還有這種情況的個人體驗到底是怎樣的。這是 一個長期合作的案例,不但激發了新的藝術創作,與此同時也探索了新的科學研究。


A: Any other interesting projects you would recommend?

C: Yes. We funded Luke Fowler, who was shortlisted for the Turner Prize last year for his film about R.D. Laing. We supported an early development of the work, and we also funded the archives he worked with in the film, which houses past footage of Laing and his work. It’s a very interesting film which explores the history and contemporary relevance of a particular figure within psychiatry. In terms of performance, we funded the Opera Group, a contemporary opera company, which is interested in pushing the boundaries of opera. We funded a project called ‘The Lion’s Face’, which was a contemporary opera about the experience of dementia. They worked with scientists at the Institute of Psychiatry, and involved patients with dementia involved in the research process.


C:我們資助過盧克福勒(Luke Fowler),他拍的關於精神病學家R.D.萊恩(R.D.Liang)的影片為他贏得去年特納獎的提名人機會。我們支持了該項目的初期發展計劃,我們還資助了他拍這個影片的歸檔資料,包括萊恩及其工作的一些注資料。這部影片探討了在精神病學方面一個特殊人物的歷史及現狀。

至於表演藝術,我們資助了歌劇團(Opera Group,一個致力於發展歌劇新領域的當代歌劇公司。我們資助了《獅子的臉(The Lion’s Face)》這出關於癡呆症的當代歌劇。他們與精神病學院的科學家合作,並參與了真實癡呆症患者的研究。


A: As we mentioned before, the Arts Awards, is it for international applicants?

C: International artists can apply but our focus is on audience engagement here in the UK. Many of our projects do show overseas as well, but our primary focus is about UK showings.




A: Where does your fund come from?

C: We have an endowment. The Wellcome Trust was set up in 1936 following the death of Henry Wellcome. All the money that we spend is generated through that endowment which is worth £14.5 billion. Each year we have an annual spend in total of about £650 million which is spent on all our research and engagement activities. In terms of the Arts Awards, we spend £1.4 million.




A: Does UK’s bad economy affect funding programs?

C: Our portfolio is so broad in terms of where we invest across the world, so we haven’t been affected significantly. We manage our fund in a strategic way which means that we have not had to reduce the amount we are spending on the arts despite the economic climate in this country.




A: That’s very exciting work. You don’t have any pressure then.

C: We have to make sure we fund the best artistic work. It is very exciting as it’s an opportunity for us to be able to fund somer eally interesting work. We may be speaking to people who hadn’t previously considered exploring subjects around biomedical science.




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