‘The waiting room’ exhibition by Rachael Allen examines the doctor/patient relationship through drawings and miniatures

Newcastle Arts Centre Gallery will be showing The waiting room a new exhibition by artist Rachael Allen.
In ‘The waiting room’, drawings and miniature models animate the philosophical and ethical concepts, questions and perspectives of medicine in contemporary culture today, and capture the voice of patient and practitioner to explore the attitudes, perceptions, conflicts and dilemmas that pervade the doctor/patient relationship.
In the words of the artist, Rachel Allen: “In ‘The waiting room’, artworks of high skill and material expertise serve a richer, more creative perspective on human illness and suffering than can be achieved by quantitative measures, medical diagnoses’ and bioethical regulations.”
The examination of doctor/patient relationship, and indeed, the doctor and patient experience of medicine, extends over decades and continues to stretch philosophical attention. From the revolutionary mind and body separation belief of seventeenth-century philosopher and physician Rene Decartes , to Michel Foucault’s advent of a new medical ‘gaze’ in ‘The Birth of the Clinic’ (1975), to the Biopsychosocial model of human health in disease and illness, commonly practiced by physicians today. In ‘The waiting room’, drawings and miniature models animate these philosophical notions, in the absence of professional debate and judgment, to serve visual slices of doctor and patient dynamics. They address ethical concepts, questions and perspectives of medicine that have become part of contemporary culture today. Capturing the voice of patient and practitioner, the artworks explore attitudes and perceptions of the doctor/patient relationship; exuding the concerns, frustrations, conflicts and dilemmas that pervade the experience of medicine.

Rachael Allen was born in 1984, and is a visual artist living and working in Newcastle upon Tyne. Currently artist in residence at Newcastle, Northumbria and Durham University anatomy labs, the artist is orchestrating various projects exploring the role of visual art in anatomy and medical pedagogy, whilst also situating her practice within the Medical Humanities nationwide.

The ‘Waiting room’ will be open to the public from Friday 7th September to 13th October 2012, entrance is free and all are welcome to the Preview Evening on Thursday 6th September from 6-8pm. As well as the artist’s talk on the preview evening, there will also be a lecture followed by a discussion on Thursday 27th September in the Gallery from 6-8pm entitled ‘The Art of Illness’ this is a free event but pre-booking is advised. If you want to know more or contact the artist, you can visit Rachael Allen’s website here.

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