Francesca Corra has joined the Arthritis Research UK Centre for OA Pathogenesis at the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology as artist in residence. The position is funded by the Leverhulme Trust as part of a scheme to promote creative collaboration between artists and UK universities or museums.
During her time at the Centre, Francesca will explore the disease process of hand arthritis and how patients, clinicians and researchers interact with the condition. She will produce a series of works focused on "arthritic diseases of the hand" and the "healing hands" of the physicians, therapists and surgeons who treat them.
Francesca's residency will culminate in a public workshop and exhibition of hand portraits. Each portrait will be accompanied by a short description about the person and their relationship with arthritis. Initially, the work will be exhibited at the Nuffield Orthopaedic Hospital, Oxford. After this time, the series will be displayed at the Kennedy Institute, where it will be visible to scientists, administrative staff and visitors as a reminder of why research into osteoarthritis and other types of arthritis is important.
Francesca is a London-based artist who specialises in drawing and is primarily interested in the intersection between art and science. Her work is focused on exploring human anatomy and pathology, which she manipulates in her meticulous renditions. Alongside her artwork, Francesca also practices as a freelance Medical Artist creating high-quality custom medical and scientific illustrations for private commissions and publications.
Speaking of her new position, Francesca said, "I am thrilled to be involved with the OA Centre. Being here will give me the opportunity to explore a subject that has always fascinated me and will enable me to create a new body of work, which will hopefully benefit those that work and are associated with the Institute."
Directed by Professor Tonia Vincent, the OA Centre brings together researchers and clinicians with an interest in osteoarthritis from across Oxford and the UK. The Centre creates strong links between the laboratory and clinic and aims to identify pathological drivers of disease and develop new treatments or biomarkers.
The Leverhulme Trust was established by the Will of William Hesketh Lever, the founder of Lever Brothers. Since 1925 the Trust has provided grants and scholarships for research and education and is one of the largest all-subject providers of research funding in the UK.