Waiting for diagnosis: an artistic exploration

This project aimed to explore the impacts of waiting on patients undergoing clinical treatment, as well as ways to articulate the effects of waiting in non-verbal terms.

Material encounters project


Dr Catherine Baker

Research background

The project developed out of a residency at a Clinical Research Imaging Centre that was supported financially by the University of Bristol. This led to further funding from the Arts Council England, the dissemination of which was supported by BCU. The initial research, undertaken during the residency, revealed waiting to be a key under-recognised feature of clinical treatment plans during and post-diagnosis periods.

Research aims

To explore how to support patients to articulate in non-verbal terms the impact that waiting has on their lives and those they share their lives during medical diagnosis.

Research methods 

Interviews with patients, their families and clinical researchers and senior academic staff. Field recordings in clinical settings plus filming across multiple clinical and non-clinical settings. Collaborative post-production work in video and audio.


The early stages led to a solo exhibition output at the Ruskin Gallery in 2016 and were presented at the University of Cambridge Science Festival the same year as a public lecture with Iain Gilchrist, Professor of Neuropsychology from the University of Bristol.  Further developments led to a conference paper as part of the 8th International Conference of Media, Art Histories RE:SOUND 2019, hosted by Aalborg University & RELATE – Research Laboratory for Art and Technology.

The reworked resulting film, supported by ACE was launched at the National Concert Hall of Denmark , in Aalborg Denmark in August 2019.