Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum
Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum has a permanent collection consisting of fine art, craft, sculpture, local and social history, archaeology and ethnography. The Art Gallery & Museum has adopted Medical History as a collecting area since the move to the Royal Pump Rooms in 1999. This reflects the history of the building as a centre for medical treatments for nearly two centuries, especially hydrotherapy and physiotherapy. A major step forward in this area has been the acquisition of work by established contemporary artists as part of the Medicate project carried out with the support of the Wellcome Trust between 1999 and 2005. Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum has continued to build on this legacy by acquiring contemporary artworks that reference the medical in some way.
Glasgow-based artist Jacqueline Donachie (Scottish, b.1969) has a special interest in healthcare and bio-medical research. She 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. The curatorial team at Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum chose to acquire Donachie’s Weight because this installation – which crosses sculpture, drawings and photographs – resonates visually with some of the medical treatments that previously took place in the building. The original concept of the work was to respond to muscular dystrophy.
Weight, Susan’s Eyes and Winter Trees are all currently on display in the collection at Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum.