Art project around organ transplantation

Hi all - thanks for having me in the group.

I’ve joined because I wanted to let you know about an art project, ‘Not Just the Incredibles’ that I’m working on that’s about organ transplantation, and – for those of you in the UK that have had a liver transplant – I wanted to invite you to a workshop that’s being held the weekend after next, in Liverpool (on Saturday the 19th March), and London (on Sunday the 20th).

There’s information about the project here: (including an information sheet and a signing-up form).

We’re just beginning the research, but one of the things that we’re interested in exploring is where transplantation sits in the everyday lives of the people closest to it.

It’s so often seen as something incredible, momentous and fantastic (which it is – I’d be dead without my donor!), but at the same time, as it settles into our lives, it also becomes a part of the most routine and mundane (and sometimes miserable) things we do. Over the years, there’s been times when I’ve struggled to appreciate life – when life has been a bit boring or just not a bed of roses– and sometimes that’s meant I’ve felt guilty that I’m not really appreciating the fantastic opportunity I’ve been given by my donor.

In retrospect, I don’t think that was a very healthy attitude to have.

One of the things that we hope to do with these artworks is to encourage the wider public to think about all the ways that transplantation can be understood – whilst acknowledging that it’s something wonderful, we want to say that it’s also more than that.

Which is where you come in – my experiences are one thing, but we really want to work with people to find out what their take on the issue is.

The other thing that we’re looking to explore is the relationship between lab researchers / scientists and transplant recipients. When I did my most recent performance someone who was in the audience and who works as a researcher around eye transplantation got in touch afterwards. We had some really interesting conversations, and it was interesting to see how close the link between us was, although – of course – in the normal run of things we’d never get to meet. That being the case I’ve spoken to some labs in London, Liverpool and Manchester and staff from these places are also keen to get involved, and some of them should be at the workshops.

If you are intending to come, please do let me or Leo Burtin , the producer on the project know ( We need numbers so that that we can sort out the catering accordingly.

We can also cover some travel costs if people are coming from further afield; and if anyone has any disability access requirements, you can tell us about them on the signing up form.

If you have any questions, thoughts or comments – either about the project itself, or the issues we’re looking at, please do let us know in the comments.

We’ve also set up a FB group for the project, you can join that here:

Apologies for the long post, but thanks for reading til the end!

4 Replies

  • Art for Art's sake

  • I don't understand, what is the performance?

  • Hey Joe,

    We're just at the research stage so we don't know what the finished work will be. It probably won't be a performance, but will most likely be new media works, put into 'everyday places' (perhaps a gym, a billboard, the hairdresses... depends what comes out the research).

    At this stage, it's really just about exploring the issues and seeing where we end up.

  • It's at the wrong end of the country for me. But anything that raises awareness gets my thumbs up. Good Luck

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