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Corpus Tempus


An exhibition that explores ideas about human health through a selection of objects, artefacts and artworks. Curated by Dr Eliza Burke and Dr Jennifer Ayton (Tasmanian School of Medicine).

Start Date

Aug 28, 2021 11:00 am

End Date

Oct 9, 2021 4:00 pm


Plimsoll Gallery

photograph by Pat Brassington of a bird in flight and a dolls head.

Image: Pat Brassington, Freeze Frame, 2016, diptych, pigment print.

Exhibition dates: Saturday 28 August - Saturday 9 October 2021

Gallery Hours all other times: Tuesday - Saturday 11am- 4pm (during exhibitions)
Closed Sundays, Mondays and Public holidays

During the COVID-19 pandemic, human health and illness has become a significant focus for the global community. Increased protection and surveillance of the human body and the upheaval of many social systems has highlighted the different ways health and wellbeing is navigated and understood across the world. Corpus Tempus represents a timely reflection on how the health of the human body has been witnessed through different cultural practices over time. Through a curated selection of over one hundred objects, texts and artworks from the University of Tasmania’s Cultural Collections and the Collection of Medical Artefacts, Tasmania (COMA), the exhibition explores ideas about health, medicine and art from a range of historical and epistemological perspectives.

Corpus Tempus is structured around the developmental stages of the human life course. From ancient fertility amulets and modern-day contraceptives, representations of pregnancy, birthing and adolescence, to ‘cure-all’ treatments for every day ailments and the challenges of old age, the show captures a kaleidoscope of human health from the ancient world to the present. At a time when health and illness is under such intense scrutiny, the exhibition offers a chance to come together and reflect on the development of meanings about health and human bodies over time, with a view towards our resilience as individuals and communities.

Corpus Tempus is curated by Dr Eliza Burke and Dr Jennifer Ayton (Tasmanian School of Medicine) in collaboration with University Cultural Collections, COMA (Collection of Medical Artefacts) Tasmania and the Plimsoll Gallery, with the assistance of Rachael Rose (Fine Art Collection), Neil Apted (John Elliot Classics Museum), Wendy Rimon and Heather Excell (Special and Rare Collections), and Elizabeth Bondfield and Dr Philip Thomson (COMA).

Featuring works by Phillip John Barratt, Arthur Boyd, Pat Brassington, Lindsay Broughton, Wayne Brookes, Lisa Garland, Bill Henson, Kit Hiller, Meg Jenkins, Jim Marwood, Ricky Maynard, Anne Morrison, Sidney Nolan, Mary Scott, Jacqui Stockdale, Heather B. Swann and many more.

Project Manager: Jane Barlow

Install technician: Josh Prouse

Download list of works  > > > > >