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Heart of the Matter


Heart of the Matter is an eight channel interactive sound installation that explores the impact of heart transplant on personal identity, and on a recipient’s sense of self as a bounded and unique individual. In the installation, monologues compiled from individual accounts of the experience of heart transplant are juxtaposed with narratives of intimate relationships. The stories, which emerge from simple felt jackets, are activated as visitors approach. As more people enter the space, individual stories are overlaid to form a cacophony of interconnected testimonies about the effects of a physical or emotional change of heart, people listening to the narratives often find it difficult to distinguish between the two. 


Heart of the Matter was made as part of an interdisciplinary project based in Toronto, Canada. The project brought together artists, Ingrid Bachmann (CA); Andrew Carnie (UK); Dana DalBo (CA) and Emily Jan (CA), theorists, philosopher Margrit Shildrick and a medical research team from Toronto General Hospital to examine the often-unacknowledged emotional and psychological effects of heart transplant on recipients. In 2016 Heart of the Matter was remade in German for exhibition in Leipzig, and in 2017 I received an AHRC Grant to bring the six artists’ works to the UK, with accompanying interdisciplinary workshops in London and Winchester.

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