Between the Lines - Drawings of Military Medicine

Between the Lines - Drawings of Military Medicine

This event has been cancelled

A talk by artist Julia Midgley as part of the Special Collections exhibition "Medicine in Wartime".

This talk will look briefly at the work of reportage artists who have focused on military and civilian medicine, from the 20th Century onwards. It will then focus on her "War Art & Surgery" drawings, describing the drawing process and her experience of working with recovering servicemen and women.


During the 'War Art & Surgery' project, artist Julia Midgley was given unprecedented access to military medical facilities including the A.M.S. Training Centre, Strensall Camp; D.M.R.C. Headley Court; and TMW Brize Norton. She created over 150 reportage sketches showing military surgeons in training and the rehabilitation of servicemen and women after surgery. The suite of drawings was designed to respond to and present a modern day juxtaposition to the 1916/17 World War I pastel portraits of facial injury and reconstruction by artist surgeon Henry Tonks. The project was a collaboration between The Royal College of Surgeons of England, the M.O.D. and the artist.

About the Speaker

Julia Midgley is a Reportage artist who works on paper, drawing subject matter from direct observation.

A frequent exhibitor at the Royal Academy of Art’s Summer Exhibition, she is the recipient of National awards for drawing, painting, and printmaking. In 2016, examples of her work were shortlisted for the Derwent and Ruskin Drawing prizes.

Reportage or Documentary Drawing is an important element of her studio output. Until her retirement in 2013, Julia was Reader in Documentary Drawing at Liverpool School of Art & Design, LJMU.

Medicine, movement, war art, human and animal anatomy are particular interests. “War Art & Surgery”, a WWI Centenary drawing project in collaboration with The Royal College of Surgeons of England, documented military medical training and the rehabilitation of wounded soldiers.

Reportage commissions/projects have found Julia surrounded by Vikings at Blackpool Pleasure Beach; standing in the press pen at Bechers Brook; working in archaeological trenches at Stonehenge; drawing in surgical operating theatres, and on board an EH 101 Merlin helicopter with the Tactical Medical Wing, RAF Brize Norton.

Her personal work often refers to horses and to art history. She is currently engaged on a series of drawings to record Significant Equine skeletons, and is Artist to the LJMU Anniversary Roscoe Lecture series.


Julia Midgley
Hosted by
Special Collections Centre, University of Aberdeen
The Sir Duncan Rice Library

Jennifer Shaw, Exhibitions Officer (Special Collections)