Henrietta Lacks was an African American woman who died of an aggressive form of cancer on 4 October 1951. While she underwent treatment, a sample of her cancer cells was taken without her consent. Following Henrietta's death, discoveries made using her cells changed medical research forever. Known as HeLa, the cells have allowed scientists to make significant breakthroughs in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of cancer, polio, HIV and many other diseases. It has also started a long and ongoing conversation about patient consent and medical ethics.
This residency highlights and celebrates Henrietta’s incredible legacy. Visitors can enjoy art by both artists and scientists inspired by her story, meet scientists from the University of Liverpool and have the unique opportunity to view the HeLa cells under the microscope.
Eclipse, one of the foremost Black-led production companies in the UK, will lead storytelling sessions in the gallery and on Friday 4 October, join artist Faith Bebbington and contribute to the Immortal Cell textile artwork.