For his latest exhibition, Luke Jerram has created glass sculptures of globally significant viruses such as HIV, Zika, Ebola, Smallpox and Malaria.
The glass sculptures (which are all beautifully lit within a darkened room) are just beautiful, which given the subject matter, does create a somewhat unsettling feeling for the viewer. I suppose that this is the artist’s way of making the viewer think about what they’re seeing.
According to his website, Jerram’s inspiration came from seeing coloured pictures of viruses, for example on the internet or in the news. Viruses are actually smaller than the wavelength of light and so in reality they are colourless, however, whether for scientific or aesthetic reasons, they are often portrayed in colour. This causes confusion amongst the public, and so the idea for Jerram’s colourless, glass sculptures was born.
One of the things that I really like about Glass microbiology, is the incorporation of science into art. As a scientist, this is something that I have been thinking about a lot recently, and this is such a beautiful example of what can be achieved.