Advertisement
Simon Galloway Photography

Glass Microbiology at the At-Bristol Science Centre

23 February 2017 | London Calling

The city’s most popular science centre, At-Bristol is now showing a unique fusion of science and art in the new Glass Microbiology exhibition, created and designed by local Bristolian, Luke Jerram.

Walking into a black exhibition room, there are six models lit up on podiums. These are the works of Luke Jerram, an artist who has not let being colour-blind hold him back, and who has decided to put his mind to turning deadly pathogens into unique sculptures. These beautiful works of art are in fact simulations of the causes of millions of peoples’ deaths. In the hands of Jerram they are turned into an unmissable beauty.
 
The sculptures were made in collaboration with virologists from the University of Bristol, along with glassblowers Brian Jones and Norman Veitch. This team of specialists spent countless hours, planning, designing and making the models, most of which are close to a million times larger than their real life counterparts. A projected video accompanying the exhibit shows how the sculptures are made, and the intricate work Jerram and his team have put in is obvious to see.

Glass Microbiology by Luke Jerram_credit Simon Galloway Photography
Unintitled Future Mutation. Glass Microbiology by Luke Jerram. Photo Credit: Simon Galloway Photography
 
The sculptures include replicas of the Zika virus, HIV virus, Malaria parasite, and even an "Untitled Future Mutation" which Jerram anticipates may be yet to come. This foreboding piece is the most original, with the spikes coming out at every angle of its spherical body, alluding to its danger and to the potentially negative impacts it may have on our society. Jerram puts our mind at ease, however, at the exhibition’s interactive board – not all viruses are necessarily bad, and this may potentially benefit us.
 
The other models in the exhibition continue to be relevant to modern society, raising awareness for a variety of different illnesses. The most striking model is the Malaria parasite, a particularly complex structure to look at with a large amount of glass inside the body of the model. Close to this is the sculpture of the EV 71 Hand, Foot and Mouth virus, which consists of a series of interlinked triangles.

LUKE_JERRAM_GLASS_MICROBIOLOGY_AT-BRISTOL_credit Brad Wakefield (10)
Photo Credit: Brad Wakefield
 
The gallery also includes a framed letter from someone who had previously visited the exhibition. The writer describes the touching experience of seeing the model of the HIV virus, claiming “it’s a very odd feeling seeing my enemy, and the eventual likely cause of my death, and finding it so beautiful.” It’s an impression lots visiting the exhibition will empathize with. At the end of the exhibition, both adults and children have a chance to write a letter to Jerram himself. It’s proved a really popular addition with lots of envelopes stuck to a pin-board.
 
Having received the 25th Rakow Award for the series from The Corning Museum of Glass, Jerram’s brilliant works are not to be missed. With sculptures fusing science, art and humanity together in such a simple yet captivating way, this exhibition is a must-see for all of those interested in appreciating the small, yet mighty, wonders of the world.
 
At-Bristol Science Centre are showing this exhibition until the 4th September, find more information on their website.
Advertisement

Most popular

Five places to discover the world of Charles Dickens in London
Five places to discover the world of Charles Dickens in London
Advertisement
Where to Eat Mussels in London
Where to Eat Mussels in London
Advertisement
The Best Theatre in London Right Now
The Best Theatre in London Right Now
Advertisement
The Best Exhibitions in London Right Now
The Best Exhibitions in London Right Now
The Best Upcoming Gigs in London
The Best Upcoming Gigs in London
The Best Comfort Food in London to Warm You Up This Winter
The Best Comfort Food in London to Warm You Up This Winter

Your inbox deserves a little culture! Get our monthly newsletter

Advertisement