The Way My Body Feels

Dr Sally Waite is Senior Lecturer in Classical Archaeology and Dr Olivia Turner is an artist and postdoctoral researcher, both at Newcastle University. Sally’s research focuses primarily on Attic red-figure pottery and the history of collecting and collections, working closely with the Shefton Collection of Greek and Etruscan Archaeology at the Great North Museum: Hancock. Olivia is an interdisciplinary artist whose practice includes sculpture, drawing, video, printmaking and performance and who has recently completed a practice-led PhD ‘Between Doctor, Patient and Cadaver: The Slippages of the Visceral Body in Medicine’. In this post, The Votives Project is excited to be able to host a short film connected with their project ‘Corporeal Pedagogies’, which uses anatomical votives for experimental teaching. The film is available to watch here throughout September 2022, and available afterwards via YouTube at the link below.

The Way My Body Feels (2022) presents a series of experimental workshops devised by Classical archaeologist Sally Waite and artist Olivia Turner to consider the links between objects, art, and medicine.

A terracotta votive womb, over 2,000 years old, from The Shefton Collection was central to the workshops. This votive offering represents the transaction between dedicant and deity – either in petition or in thanks for healing.

The workshops explored ancient and contemporary notions of the body and embodiment. The participating students used object handling, creative practice, meditation, and selected readings to investigate what it means to learn through the body. Within a university setting, the workshops illustrate the transformative role objects can play in education to facilitate radical forms of teaching and learning.

This film is currently featured in an exhibition at the Great North Museum: Hancock, 23 July 2022 – 01 January 2023. Find out more about the exhibition here: and watch the film here:

Still image from the film The Way My Body Feels (2022).

The British Medical Journal’s Medical Humanities podcast episode ‘Body Talk: “Corporeal Pedagogies”’ is available to listen to here. This episode features Sally and Olivia talking to BMJ Medical Humanities Editor-in-Chief, Brandy Schillace, about this research in more depth.

With thanks to Janina Sabaliauskaite, Lindsay Duncanson, Michael Atkinson, Jessica Komes, Graham Taylor and Incite Design, to all our workshop participants, and to our funders: Wellcome Trust, The Catherine Cookson Foundation, Newcastle University’s Institutes for Creative Arts Practice and Humanities Research, and EngageFMS.


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