Handle With Care: Wellcome Collection’s upcoming Friday Late Spectacular will make you think more about looking after yourself and others

Photographic portrait of two women holding hands. One is facing away from the camera , the other is looking at their clasped hands.
Stacy and Lois, Thomas SG Farnetti. Source: Wellcome Collection. Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0).

What does it mean to care, to be cared for, to be caring, to be a carer? Who cares and who do we care about?

From self-care to healthcare, on Friday 6 July Wellcome Collection will be transformed for its next Late Spectacular, ‘Handle With Care’, taking a thought-provoking look at the acts of care central to our everyday lives. Through live performances, conversations and a live radio show, visitors will be able to explore how we could think more carefully about how we handle ourselves, each other and our world with care.

Broadcast live in the building and streamed online, radio presenters Nikki Bedi (BBC World Service The Arts Hour and BBC Radio 4 Loose Ends) and J P Devlin (BBC Radio 4 Saturday Live) will host Wellcome Collection’s very own Care Radio. Featuring interviews, music and expert discussions exploring topics including children in care and the language of kindness, the one-night-only radio show will also share listeners’ top tips on self-care as well as their song requests. 

A specially created Care Café will provide a space for visitors, and especially carers, to gather and share their thoughts on what it takes to give and receive care in a familiar café environment. Further discussions will take place in sessions running like dinner parties, with members of the public debating topics across the table, and a ‘Public Studio’ workshop will explore how digital technologies can be used to support those who are dying.

In the galleries, visitors will encounter specially commissioned performances to question how we look after ourselves and how public services can best provide care. Author Lucy Hutson will reveal her experience of three weeks spent in a psychiatric unit, considering the state of current care structures as well as utopian possibilities for the future. Hawaiian-born performance artist Stacy Makishi will also perform ‘Malama Maki’, inviting visitors to join her for sacred humour, cheeky ritual and ancient rock-’n’-roll witchcraft designed to care for the soul. 

Guests will also have the chance to have a chat and a cocktail with London-based arts charity Magic Me, whose volunteers deliver cocktail parties at care homes to provide residents with the opportunity to socialise with one another and combat the potentially quiet and lonely evenings.  

Handle With Care’ is curated in collaboration with Lois Weaver, artist, activist and Professor of Contemporary Art at Queen Mary University of London. Lois is also a Wellcome Engagement Fellow.

This is a special late-night event with a bar running all night. The majority of activities are drop-in, but some talks and events require booking. Online booking opens on Friday 29 June, with limited capacity. Some content may not be suitable for under-18s. The building might be busy and space is limited, so entry is not guaranteed.

Notes to editors

Wellcome Collection is a free museum and library exploring health, life and our place in the world. Through exhibitions, collections, live programming, digital, broadcast and publishing, Wellcome Collection creates opportunities for people to think deeply about the connections between science, medicine, life and art. Wellcome Collection makes thought-provoking content that encourages everyone to reflect on what it means to be human.

Wellcome Collection is part of Wellcome, a global charitable foundation that exists to improve health for everyone by helping great ideas to thrive. Both politically and financially independent, we support scientists and researchers, take on big problems, fuel imaginations and spark debate.

For press information and images please contact:
Jodie Rogers, Media Team, Wellcome Collection
T +44 (0)20 7611 8612 | E j.rogers@wellcome.ac.uk | W wellcomecollection.org/press