On 21st May, I will be participating in 'Creative Reactions', an art-science event organised by Cambridge Creative Network and the Cambridge Pint of Science team. Each artist will create an artwork in response to the work of a Cambridge scientist and the screenprints I have created will be shown for the first time at the Creative Reactions exhibition. My work will also be shown at a talk to be given by the scientist I have been paired with - Jenny Molloy, who will be discussing the future of synthetic biology.
Jenny's team is conducting research into the 'Marchantia' (or liverwort) plant and I became interested in how the simple liverwort - a descendant of the earliest terrestrial plants - was playing such an important role in current genome experimentation: "Although Marchantia polymorpha is not the most visually appealing of plants, I wanted to elevate this 'lower' weed from its current status to reflect its importance as a major new system for analysis and genetic engineering. To achieve this, I have placed the plant in a formal still life arrangement. In the arrangement, early botanical drawings of the structure of Marchantia polymorpha are juxtaposed with current molecular modelling diagrams of the plant. I was struck by the beauty of these molecular ribbon diagrams and how, in themselves, they looked like flower heads. As an appropriate ‘vase’ for the still life arrangement, I used the cuboid diagram showing Errera's Rule (1888). Errera's rule describing cell division underpins current experimentation in plant development. By coincidence, 1888 is also the year in which Van Gogh painted his Sunflower still lifes; reflecting this, I have used roughly the same proportions and use of horizontal line in the Marchantia screen print."
Creative Reactions is an art-related event organised by Cambridge Creative Network and the Cambridge Pint of Science team, that is going to be the grand-closure of Pint of Science 2015 in Cambridge on 21st May at St Barnabas Church in Mill Road from 1pm. https://www.facebook.com/events/1580473575524024/