GP trainee's teacup artwork explores ageing and frailty

A GP trainee is using teacups to create art inspired by her experiences as a doctor, highlighting issues around ageing and frailty.

Dr Katy Shorttle: general practice trainee's artwork explores ageing
Dr Katy Shorttle: general practice trainee's artwork explores ageing

In addition to her GP training, Dr Katy Shorttle is currently studying for an MA in illustration and book arts at Anglia Ruskin University, co-ordinating her time around her placement at Addenbrooke’s Hospital.

Work from her Masters course is being put on display as part of the Perceptions show at the Ruskin Gallery in Cambridge.

Dr Shorttle said her medical background heavily influences her art – and her art also helped her explore the more human side of medicine.

GP artwork

The display, which will run until 16 September, uses teacups to explore the experiences of frailty and ageing, and the adaptions people make to cope.Catherine by Katy Shorttle

She said: ‘I have chosen a well-known object, the teacup, as a metaphor for the individual, and created personal narratives representing the resilience, renewal and loss experienced by thousands each day.

‘I have sourced teacups from charity shops.  Displaced from their tea set and often sold without their saucer, each teacup becomes a souvenir of the 20th century lifestyle.

‘It felt appropriate to use these objects which originate from the last century to illustrate individual stories relating to the ageing process.

Human side of medicine

‘My art practice is rooted in my work as a medical doctor and my practice as a doctor has benefitted from this opportunity to explore the human side of medicine through art.’

Dr Shorttle’s work is one of 33 exhibits from students at the university making up the Perceptions display.

The show displays ‘final artworks that are underpinned by rigorous research and experimentation in different fields’.

Teacups by Katy Shorttle

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