University of Dundee

Eczema art exhibition goes on display in LifeSpace

27 Jun 2017

People who suffer from eczema will be the focus of a new exhibition at the University of Dundee.

‘Beyond Skin’ will explore the life and science behind atopic eczema and will open at the LifeSpace Gallery on Tuesday, 27th June, featuring work by artists Gordon Douglas, Trevor Gordon, Beverley Hood and Josie Vallely. The exhibition considers the challenging symptoms that people live with every day and the takes a look at the unseen human side of skin research.

Trevor and Josie’s works were inspired by participatory workshops with Eczema Outreach Scotland to reflect the emotional and physical impact of the condition. Gordon and Beverley worked with Professor Sara Brown at the University of Dundee’s School of Medicine to deconstruct and reframe the everyday actions of skin researchers.

Funding from the Wellcome Trust has allowed Professor Brown to develop a world-leading programme of research aimed at answering the question ‘What causes eczema?’ The laboratory uses human skin cells cultured to produce a model skin which can be tested by genetic manipulation. It is hoped that this research will eventually point the way to design new and better treatments for eczema.

Professor Brown said, "It has been a very challenging but rewarding experience to host two artists in residence in my laboratory and clinics over the past four months. The artists Beverly Hood and Gordon Douglas have given a unique view of my research work.

"The artwork in 'Beyond Skin' gives a valuable insight into the experience of life with eczema. They also present aspects of the world-leading research carried out in the School of Medicine, designed to understand how genetic mechanisms can contribute to the development of atopic disease."

LifeSpace Curator Dr Sarah Cook said, “Gordon and Beverley's work both make novel use of new technologies reflecting the advanced technologies used in researching eczema.

“Trevor's and Josie's work tap into what the day to day of living with the condition is like, exploring the sleeplessness and that battle of the itch verses the scratch, that is all too familiar with eczema. Their art works are tactile and the result of workshops with children who helped to make the pieces, and so present new perspectives on familiar and everyday materials including fabric and clay.”

‘Beyond Skin’ will be on display in LifeSpace from Tuesday 27th April until Saturday 2nd September. Entry is free and for more information go to

‘Beyond Skin’ is supported by the Wellcome Trust, University of Dundee's School of Medicine, The Arts and Ethics Research Group at the University of Edinburgh and the Manknell Charitable Trust; it is a partnership between LifeSpace, ASCUS Art & Science, Prof Sara Brown and Eczema Outreach Scotland.