Deep in the Heart of Your Brain/ Jacqueline Donachie/ 20 May – 13 November 2016

Donachie Winter Trees 2013

Winter Trees, 2013, Jacqueline Donachie,  Mixed media installation © Jacqueline Donachie, 2015, Photo Alan Dimmick, Courtesy of Patricia Fleming Projects


Glasgow’s Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) is to present a major solo exhibition by Glasgow-based artist Jacqueline Donachie, including an ambitious new body of work exploring disability, care and loss.

Deep in the Heart of Your Brain opens to the public 20th May 2016. It will be the first solo exhibition by Donachie at GoMA and continues the gallery’s acclaimed series of exhibitions and programmes looking at social justice and human rights issues.

Donachie creates socially-engaged art and has an ongoing interest in healthcare and bio-medical research. This exciting new commission with GoMA, supported by a Wellcome Trust Arts Award, will include sculpture and drawings made in the last five years alongside new works developed out of a period of research with a group of women affected by myotonic dystrophy and made in collaboration with the UK Patient Registry at The John Walton Muscular Dystrophy Research Centre in Newcastle. Donachie has also received support to work with GoMA on this exhibition and for further research from the National Lottery through the Creative Scotland Open Project Fund.

The women involved are all sister pairs, where one sibling has inherited the myotonic dystrophy gene and one has not, mirroring the artists own position within her family where many relatives are affected by the condition.

This rich archive of personal reflection on age, appearance and disability offers a powerful platform for new work. Through connecting the thoughts of the women on their position within science and the treatment that affects them with established sculptural language that uses industrial materials, drawing and film, Donachie seeks to parallel the relationships and hierarchy of families with that of science, within the context of contemporary art. The exhibition will also reference items of armour from Glasgow Museums collection, and works from an earlier sculptural and performance tradition such as that of Bruce McLean.

Speaking about the project, artist Jacqueline Donachie said: “Since 2002, I have worked with a range of scientific and medical professionals in collaborative processes to produce new ideas and artworks. This new commission supported by a Wellcome Trust Arts Award and Creative Scotland and staged in one of GoMA’s main galleries, for a period of 6 months, brings this new work to as wide a range of the public as possible. There are excellent opportunities through the contact with gallery visitors and the public engagement programme to begin a discussion around the ethics of the biomedical research I have been working with, and the impact it has on us all.”

The artist and gallery are also pleased to announce that, through generous support from the Wellcome Trust Arts Award, there will be a symposium to bring together key academics, artists, patients and interested colleagues to take forward some of the themes and ambitions raised by the exhibition.

Councillor Archie Graham OBE, Chair of Glasgow Life, said: “GoMA has delivered a number of high profile and very successful exhibitions and activities designed to engage the public, through art, with a variety of challenging issues.

“This project not only allows GoMA the privilege of working with Jacqueline Donachie, one of Scotland’s most interesting contemporary artists, it enables us to continue to build on GoMA’s social justice programme, which has already made an important contribution to social change by providing a platform for exploring, discussing and challenging subjects connected to human rights.

“I would like to thank the Wellcome Trust and Creative Scotland for supporting this valuable project, and I look forward to seeing Jacqueline’s exhibition at GoMA.”

Donachie graduated from the Glasgow School of Art’s influential Environmental Art department, which encouraged artists to place their work in a variety of public contexts outside the gallery space. Her socially engaged practice crosses both her public art work and her formal gallery based works, which has looked at physical experience, health and wellbeing, often in partnership with medical professionals. Her work in the healthcare realm has led her to collaborate on ground-breaking research with academics based in Glasgow and abroad. Her work with them has introduced new audiences and conversations to the pioneering research that is currently investigating genetically inherited disease.

Deep in the Heart of Your Brain will to be presented in GoMA Gallery 4 and opens 20th May 2016 running until November 2016



Gallery of Modern Art, Royal Exchange Square, Glasgow G1 3AH
Situated in the heart of the City Centre, GoMA is Scotland’s most visited modern and contemporary art gallery displaying work that highlights the interests, influences and working methods of artists from around the world.
Open Monday to Wednesday and Saturday 10am to 5pm, Thursday 10am to 8pm and Friday and Sunday 11am to 5pm @GlasgowGoMA

GoMA has an award winning approach to engaging visitors and new audiences. Since 2003, GoMA has delivered a number of high profile exhibitions and outreach and engagement programmes looking at social justice and human rights issues. This experience has been documented in the publication Towards an Engaged Gallery (2008) and in conference papers and in publications.

Jacqueline Donachie (Scottish, b.1969), is an independent practitioner, working within the contemporary art world in Scotland and internationally as a researcher, artist, academic, lead artist/ manager and adviser. One of a group of artists who helped establish Glasgow in the 1990s as one of the world’s most dynamic contemporary art communities, she has forged a strong reputation for a socially-engaged art practice, with a special interest in issues surrounding health, disability and participation. Recent commissions include Melbourne Slow Down (ACCA, Melbourne) 2013 and Glasgow Slow Down, for Culture 2014; New Weather Coming, a major public work for National Galleries of Scotland (Generation), and a solo exhibition at Leamington Spa Art Gallery (2014). Her academic collaboration includes a five year dialogue with Professor Darren Monckton and Biomedical and Life Sciences at Glasgow University (funded by the Welcome Trust (2000 – 2005), and an ongoing collaboration with the Centre for Life/ Northumbria University (Arts and Humanities Research Council) 2012-2015; she received a three year Paul Hamlyn Award for Visual Arts in 2005, and was an honorary Research Fellow in the School of Culture and Creative Arts at the University of Glasgow from 2010-2012.

The Wellcome Trust is a global charitable foundation dedicated to improving health. They support bright minds in science, the humanities and the social sciences, as well as education, public engagement and the application of research to medicine.

Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here. We enable people and organisations to work in and experience the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland by helping others to develop great ideas and bring them to life. We distribute funding provided by the Scottish Government and the National Lottery. For further information about Creative Scotland please visit Follow us @creativescots and

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For Media inquiries please contact

Lynne Mackenzie
Phone 0141 2873575 / 07884115297


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