Olivia Turner

Newcastle & Gateshead

Olivia Turner is an artist and researcher based in Newcastle upon Tyne. Her practice moves between sculpture, performance and moving image to explore themes of illness, wildness, feminism and bodily agency.

Her work questions what it means to be an examined medicalised body through the lens of archaeology and medicine, recently performing interventions in the Shefton Collection of Greek Art and Archaeology. She recently successfully completed a practice-led PhD at Newcastle University, recipient of the Research Excellence Academy Studentship. Her PhD title is Between Doctor, Patient and Cadaver: The Slippages of the Visceral Body in Medicine.

Exhibitions include The Way My Body Feels and You Echo Through Time, Great North Museum; Confabulations; O (Symptom), Ex Libris Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne; Confusion of Tongues, AirSpace Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent; The Body, Round Lemon; Women and Power, National Trust; Bish, Bash, Bosh, We Are The North, Liverpool; Circus Between Worlds, Glasgow International; and DECAPOD, AirSpace Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent.


Selected exhibitions
You Echo Through Time (2022) Great North Museum, part of the national Being Human Festival [Exhibition].
The Way My Body Feels (2022) Great North Museum, Newcastle [Exhibition].
O (Symptom) (2022) Senses and Modern Health/care Environments, University of Bristol [Film Screening].
Patient-Doctor Intimates (2022) Confabulations, Online [Film Screening].
O (Symptom) (2021) XL Gallery, Newcastle [Live Performance and Exhibition].
Confusion of Tongues (2021) AirSpace Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent [Exhibition].
The Body (2021) Round Lemon, Online [Exhibition].
Archival Imaginarium (2020) Northern Network for Medical Humanities Research 4th Annual Congress, University of Sheffield [Performance].
New Sculpture (2019) Cheeseburn Sculpture Gardens, Northumberland [Exhibition].
Women and Power (2018) National Trust, Northumberland [Exhibition].
A Seat at the Table (2018) Curated by Dr Gayle Meikle, Gallery North, Newcastle [Exhibition].
Reality Check (2018) The NewBridge Project, Newcastle [Exhibition].
S T R E T C H (2017) Galleri Bokboden, Norway [Exhibition].
BISH, BASH, BOSH (2017) We Are The North, Liverpool [Exhibition].
Bones (2017) Great North Museum, Newcastle [Exhibition].
Circus Between Worlds (2016) Glasgow International [Performance].
DECAPOD (2016) AirSpace Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent [Exhibition].
Invisible Cities (2015) Hatton Gallery, Newcastle [Exhibition].
Consuming Spaces (2014) Strømgaten 1 & C. Sundtsgate 15, Norway [Performance].
Urban Art in Context (2014) Rom8, Norway [Exhibition].
located, identified and clearly marked. (2014) Skottesalen, Norway [Performance].

Turner, O., and Waite, S. Corporeal Pedagogy: Visualising anatomy through art, archaeology and medicine (2023) Biomedical Visualization, in L. Shapiro (ed.). Springer International Publishing. [Publication].
Turner, O., Performing in between doctor, patient and cadaver’ (2023) Routledge Companion to Performance and Science. Routledge. [Publication].
Turner, O., Reimagining Medical Encounters and Intimacies (2023) Interconnections, Special Issue. [Publication].
Turner, O., Breath (2021) Tendon, John Hopkins University, USA [Publication].

Research funding and awards history
(2022) Wellcome Trust Small Grant, £10k, Co-Investigator (CI)
(2022) Shining a Light on Women and Children in Antiquity, AHRC, £50k (+ Faculty Follow-on Funding), project co-Lead
(2021-22) Corporeal Pedagogies: Using the Shefton Collection for Interdisciplinary Research and Teaching, Catherine Cookson Fund, EngageFMS, Newcastle University’s Institutes for Humanities and Creative Arts Practice, £6k, Principle Investigator (PI)
(2021) Valence II, Wellcome Trust, Institute for Creative Arts Practice and Arts and Medical Research Cluster, £12k, PI
(2021) Thinking Through Things ECR Project Support Grant, £1000, PI
(2019-21) Thinking Through Things: Object Encounters in the Medical Humanities, Wellcome Trust Discretionary Award, £30k, CI
(2019-21) The Visceral Body in Medicine, Wellcome Trust Small Grant, £10k, PI
(2016-19) Research Excellence Academy Studentship (REA), fully funded practice-led Fine Art PhD
(2019) Research Excellence Academy Travel Scholarship, Pisa and Rome, Italy, £1200, PI
(2018) EngageFMS & Newcastle University Institute for Creative Arts Practice Award, £7k, PI
(2017) Challenge Labs Project Award, Newcastle University Humanities Research Institute for Valence interdisciplinary symposium, £3k, PI
(2017) Newcastle University Institute for Creative Arts Practice Award, £1000, PI
(2015) The Bartlett Travel Scholarship, Norway

(2016-2022) PhD in Fine Art, fully-funded Research Excellence Academy Studentship, Newcastle University. Title: Between Doctor, Patient and Cadaver: The Slippages of the Visceral Body in Medicine.
(2012-16) BA Hons Fine Art, Newcastle University, First Class Degree.

Selected talks and conferences
(2023) Humanities in Medicine Symposium, Sunderland University.
(2022) B. Schillace (2022) BMJ Medical Humanities: Body Talk: Corporeal Pedagogies with Dr Sally Waite and Dr Olivia Turner [Podcast]. 22 August.
(2022) Patient-Doctor Intimates, Confabulations: Art Practice, Art History, Critical Medical Humanities [Online].
(2022) Medical (Post)Humanities Conference, University of Sheffield.
(2022) Care + Crisis: Spaces of Performance, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London.
(2022) Senses and Modern Health/care Environments, University of Bristol.
(2022) Humanities in Medicine Symposium, Sunderland University.
(2021) Thinking Through Things & Film Screening, Invisibility: Northern Network for Medical Humanities Research 4th Annual Congress, Durham University.
(2020) Thinking Through Things with Wellcome ECR training day, Wellcome Collection, London.
(2020) Archival Imaginarium, 3rd Annual Congress of the Northern Network for Medical Humanities Research, University of Sheffield.
(2019) Artist Lecture, EXPLORE: Lifelong Learning, Newcastle upon Tyne
(2019) Interdisciplinary Conversations Around Making, Symposium, Newcastle University
(2018) Arts and Science Research Event, collaboration between Northumbria University’s Cultural Negotiation of Science & Newcastle University’s Institute for Creative Arts Practice
(2018) Innovation in collaborative Practice-led & Medical Science Research, Symposium, The Core, Newcastle University
(2018) Exploring the Lexicon of the Mouth with Olivia Turner and Gayle Meikle, Gallery North, Newcastle.
(2017) Valence: Interactive and Interdisciplinary Symposium, Newcastle University.

(2023) Thinking Through Medicine with Artmaking, led alongside Dr Kate Stobbart at Sunderland University.
(2021) The Way My Body Feels, 4 workshops in the series, Newcastle University and the Great North Museum
(2020) (un)Masking the Wellcome Collection, led by Ilaria Grando and Olivia Turner (online)
(2019) The Way My Body Feels, Newcastle University
(2019) Patient Day, Crowne Plaza, Newcastle upon Tyne
(2018) Sculpting our Insides, Lily Foundation Family Weekend, Warwick.
(2015) Beyond Frontiers, West Jesmond Primary School; A community engaged project exploring past and present identities and human diversity with the aim of promoting mutual respect and understanding within local communities. Collaboration between Newcastle University’s Archaeology, Classics, History and Fine Art Departments. Using the Shefton Collection as part of a series of workshops at West Jesmond Primary School and the Great North Museum

(2022- Present) Associate Lecturer in Fine Art and Art History, teaching across undergraduate and postgraduate-taught level. Supervising Art History dissertations. Newcastle University.
(March 2020-March 2023) Associate Lecturer in Classics, History and Archaeology Department. Newcastle University.
(2017- 2022) Fine Art Studio Tutor. Newcastle University. Teaching across undergraduate years 1-4, postgraduate-taught, and PhD: involving module development, teaching and assessment, writing feedback, administrative duties, extensive experience with one-to-one and group teaching.

Skills & Experience

  • Financial skills
  • Fundraising
  • Project management
  • Proofreading
  • Visiting lecturer (HE)
  • Working with schools (primary)
  • Workshsops (adult)
  • Workshops (family / general)
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