Skip links

  1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to search

The Heart of the Matter

Sophie Layton, Rubix Heart 1, 2018. Photo by Stephen King.

Monday to Saturday, 11am – 7pm. Sundays, 11am – 5pm.

The Heart of the Matter is an exhibition that brings together art and medicine to reflect on the human heart.

The heart can symbolise romantic love and the centre of human emotion, but it is also the engine room of our body and an intricate piece of machinery. Through artworks inspired by patients with heart conditions, their families and clinicians, the exhibition invites you to discover the extraordinary nature and complexity of this organ.

The Heart of The Matter began with a collaboration between artist Sofie Layton and bioengineer Giovanni Biglino. In 2017, they brought together patients with heart conditions at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London, the Bristol Heart Institute and the Adult Congenital & Paediatric Heart Unit of the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle, to look at the heart emotionally and metaphorically in workshops with scientists, artists, students, and nurses. Conversations and stories from these workshops in turn inspired artworks that offer insight into the heart’s beauty, fragility and resilience, using scientific and artistic methods. Medical 3D printing and topographical maps describe cardiovascular anatomy; digital animation responds to medical imaging; and other abstracted stories are given form in printed textiles, sound installations and sculpture.

The Heart of the Matter was conceived by artist Sofie Layton and bioengineer Giovanni Biglino, and developed with health psychologist Jo Wray. The work is produced by Susie Hall (GOSH Arts), Nicky Petto and Anna Ledgard in association with Artsadmin, and is supported by the Wellcome Trust, the Blavatnik Family Foundation, Above&Beyond, Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity and using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. With thanks to RapidformRCA and 3D Life Print.

Exhibition Tours
Saturday 3, Sunday 4, Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 November, 12pm and 3pm.
Hour long tours led by members of The Heart of the Matter team with the opportunity to listen to additional soundscapes made in the development of the exhibition.
Free. Tours on Saturday 3 November will be BSL interpreted. Book online.

When Art and Medicine Collide: panel discussion
Wednesday 7 November, 6.30-8.30pm.
Join artist Sofie Layton, bioengineer Giovanni Biglino, health psychologist Jo Wray and producers Susie Hall and Anna Ledgard in a conversation exploring the making of the exhibition.
Free. Booking essential.

Find out more:

Listen to an interview about the exhibition with artist Sofie Layton on Monocle24.


Please contact to request a marketing pack or for press enquiries.

Date and time

1–11 November 2018

Please note
This is now a past event.


Copeland Gallery
Unit 9I
Copeland Park 133
Copeland Road
SE15 3SN