Ah. Microbiology. Dontcha just love it?
Yeah – me too. And so does artist Luke Jerram – he’s made some amazing glass sculptures of protozoa, bacteria and viruses:
Made to contemplate the global impact of each disease, the artworks were created as alternative representations of viruses to the artificially coloured imagery we receive through the media. In fact, viruses have no colour as they are smaller than the wavelength of light. By extracting the colour from the imagery and creating jewel like beautiful sculptures in glass, a complex tension has arisen between the artworks’ beauty and what they represent.
Personally, I couldn’t see the “complex tension” – that sounds a bit unnecessarily arty-farty to me. But they are pretty special to look at:
That’s a T4 Bacteriophage at the top, and my old friend E.coli on the bottom – check out those flagellae – hello big boy! But of course, they’re (thankfully) not actual size. The real things are far smaller then this, hence “micro”biology. I know you knew that.
There are a whole lot more images to look at on Luke’s website too: SARS, HIV, Smallpox, Malaria etc etc.
The beautifully detailed collection has now been bought for permanent exhibition at the The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.