Life Science Commision

Bright Field, 2016
School of Life Sciences
Warwick University, Coventry, UK

Floating images of human cell structures coalesce with networks of neuronal communication, punctuated by sculpted genomes, proteins, and synthetic bacteria.  Rhizomes reach through fields of protozoa, while diatoms balance delicately next to vibrant exploitive microbes. This proposed artwork for the atrium in Warwick University’s School of Life Sciences celebrates the democracy of the small-scale in living systems. 

The installation consists of a series of suspended horizontal sculptures containing microscopic imagery in both two and three-dimensions.  Bright Field will demonstrate the visual splendour of the microscopic whilst simultaneously magnifying the fundamental interconnectivity of biological life.

The sculptures of Bright Field are made of Perspex, transparent printed vinyl, and vacuum formed sculptures.   Each artwork comprises of two sheets of thick Perspex cut into organic shapes of unicellular organisms.  The sheets of Perspex will sandwich a high-resolution collage printed on vinyl, evoking the experience of looking through glass (referencing a petri dish or a lens).  The surfaces of the Perspex will be interspersed with three-dimensional vacuumed formed sculptures of enlarged biological life forms of appropriated imagery from scanning electron microscopes (SEM).  The artworks will be suspended from the ceiling of the atrium with wire rope sheathed in a type of hose or tubing typically found in a laboratory environment.

This installation will consist of ideally seven sculptures, varying in size, shape, and hanging height, which will occupy the space above the ground and first floor of the atrium.  This placement will enable the works to be viewed from both above and below.  The vinyl collage will have a transparent quality allowing both day and artificial light to pass through the forms.  The two and three-dimensional microscopic imagery used in Bright Field would ideally be collated directly from the areas of research within the School of Life Sciences.