What's On

Call for Artists: The Colour of Pain

Sickle cell disease (SCD) is the name given to a group of lifelong inherited conditions that affect haemoglobin. It is one of the most common serious genetic condition in the UK. Despite its prevalence, there is still little awareness of the condition. It affects mostly people whose origins are African, African-Caribbean or Asian or Mediterranean. Those with the condition suffer from extremely painful episodes.

Why do we know so little? Is it because the disease is a kind of 'poor cousin' given that in Britain it is largely people of Afro-Caribbean heritage who are affected? 

One of the difficulties faced by SCD patients is how to express the level of their pain as it is not visible. The question of pain in art has been a common source of inspiration for visual artists.  Artists such as Frieda Kahlo and Donald Rodney, who both suffered from painful conditions used visual means of expression to talk about it.

The aim of the exhibition is to look at how artists give a visual response to pain caused by SCD.

We are therefore calling for artist to produce 2D works related to the themes of the exhibition.

This exhibition of work, to be shown in the first instance at Imperial College London's Centre for Languages, Culture and Communication gallery. The exhibition will be accompanied by events, ideally including talks from Imperial College medical experts in the field and by contributions from those working in support organisations for sufferers.

Artists must hang their work using our existing hanging system and are welcome to visit first or ask for a photo of the gallery.

While we are applying for funding to help with printing and mounting costs should these arise, artists are responsible for submitting work which is ready to hang on our system. Ideally work should be no bigger than 50cm by 50cm.

The plan is for the exhibition to open on 1/11/2019

Please send your proposal by 27th August to Alinta Sara at and for further information contact Dr Anna Nyburg


Tuesday 30 July, 2019
Tuesday 27 August, 2019
Venue Address
Imperial College London, South Kensington Campus

London, , London

Call for Artists