HEALING: Vicky Higginson in conversation with Selina Hurley

Jerwood Space, 171 Union Street, London, SE1 0LN
7 Apr 2022, 7-8pm

Vicky Higginson discusses her commission Coping Mechanisms, a set of glass healing devices that draw on folklore, mythology, and medical history to imagine ways to treat emotional ailments, with Selina Hurley Curator of Medicine at The Science Museum.

Please note: Unfortunately, the original guest speaker, Natasha McEnroe (Keeper of Medicine at the Science Museum), is no longer able to join us for this event. We are delighted to be joined by Selina Hurley instead.

Using hand blown and cold worked techniques, Vicky Higginson assembles glass elements to create complex multi-layered sculptures. For Coping Mechanisms, she uses the aesthetics of historic medical instruments to create devices that we can use to heal ourselves, including: a pestle and mortar (to break up overwhelming thoughts), ear trumpets (to hear things left unsaid) and an anaesthetic inhaler (to numb grief).  


The conversation will last for up to an hour, followed by the chance to ask questions. 

There is limited capacity at this event, so we ask that you let us know as soon as possible if you are no longer able to attend. We will run a waiting list for tickets if they sell out and will be in touch if tickets become available in the run-up to the event.  

This event will be recorded and made available online after the event, subject to speakers approval.  

This event is free to attend, book now. 

Visitor Guidance  

Jerwood Arts is committed to the safety and wellbeing of all our visitors and staff. In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic we have put the following guidelines in place for this event: 

  • We encourage all visitors to take a COVID-19 lateral flow test before visiting our galleries at Jerwood Space and only to attend if it is negative. 
  • We request that visitors wear masks inside the building for this event unless they are exempt. 
  • We ask you to please be considerate of one another’s space during the event. 

The space will be well ventilated, our staff members will be wearing personal protective equipment and there will be hand sanitiser available on arrival. 

Please do not attend if you or anyone you live with is feeling unwell or displaying symptoms consistent with COVID-19 even if you receive a negative lateral flow test result. 


We want to make sure that our events programme is welcoming and accessible.  

Please contact us if you would like to discuss how we can support you to attend and enjoy this event or if you have any feedback on the accessibility of our work.  

You can contact us via email at gallery@jerwoodarts.org or telephone +44(0)7944 903 991. Learn more about the access support available, here. 

About the speakers  

Vicky Higginson is an Edinburgh-based artist working with hand blown and cold-worked glass who graduated with a MA in Glass from the University of Sunderland in 2011. She has exhibited work nationally including at the British Glass Biennale, Stourbridge, UK (2012, 2019) and Collect, London, UK (2019). Internationally she has exhibited in Ireland, Japan, the Czech Republic and the USA. Residencies at Edinburgh College of Art and North Lands Creative have been pivotal in the development and evolution of Higginson’s work, allowing her the freedom to experiment and change approach, developing personal style and themes. She was awarded the Student Award at the British Glass Biennale 2012, the Creative Scotland Emerging Artist Bursary in 2015, and received a scholarship to a masterclass at Corning Museum of Glass in 2018. vickyhigginson.com

Selina Hurley is Curator of Medicine at the Science Museum, where she led on the Medicine and Treatments gallery. Her work focuses on the intersection of health, disease, therapeutics and materia medica throughout the modern period. She was co-editor of, and contributor to, The Medicine Cabinet (Carlton, 2019), and contributor to Medicine: An Imperfect Science (Scala, 2019). She also sits on the advisory panel for Thalidomide Stories: An Oral History of Thalidomide Survivors, funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund. During her 14-year career at the Science Museum, she has worked on meteorites, clocks, climate science, psychology and almost everything in between. sciencemuseum.org.uk

This event is free to attend: