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Artist Luke Jerram
Luke Jerram has created a number of extraordinary art projects which have excited and inspired people around the globe. Luke Jerram’s practice involves the creation of sculptures, installations, live arts projects. He is a Visiting Senior Research Fellow at the University of West of England. Further information on Jerram’s entire practice can be found here.
About Glass Microbiology
Glass Microbiology is a body of glass work which has been developed by artist Luke Jerram since 2004. Made to contemplate the global impact of each disease, the artworks are created as alternative representations of viruses to the artificially coloured imagery received 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.
The Glass Microbiology sculptures are in museum collections around the world, including The Metropolitan Museum, NYC, The Wellcome Collection, London and The Museum of Glass, Shanghai. They are also regularly displayed in exhibitions around the globe and sold to private collectors. Famous pop stars, celebrities and scientists own works by Luke Jerram.
In 2010, Jerram received the 25th Rakow Award for the series from The Corning Museum of Glass, New York. In 2009, his sculptures were presented at The Mori Museum, Tokyo and in 2015 his sculptures were presented at ArtScience Museum, Singapore alongside Leonardo Da Vinci’s Codex Atlanticus.
His transparent and colourless glassworks consider how the artificial colouring of scientific microbiological imagery, affects our understanding of these phenomena. See these examples of HIV imagery. If some images are coloured for scientific purposes, and others altered simply for aesthetic reasons, how can a viewer tell the difference? How many people believe viruses are brightly coloured? Are there any colour conventions and what kind of ‘presence’ do pseudocoloured images have that ‘naturally’ coloured specimens don’t? How does the choice of different colours affect their reception?
Photographs of Jerram’s glass artworks are now used widely in medical journals, text books and media stories and are seen as useful representations of virology within the scientific community. His work has been presented in the Lancet, the British Medical Journal and on the front cover of Nature Magazine.
The sculptures are designed in consultation with virologists from the University of Bristol, using a combination of different scientific photographs and models. They are made in collaboration with glassblowers Kim George, Brian Jones and Norman Veitch.
Loans and Sales of Artwork
Jerram’s limited edition Glass Microbiology sculptures are available for sale to private collectors and public museums. Artworks are signed and dated, limited editions of just 5. Limited edition prints of some of the artworks are also available. Collections of works can also be loaned for exhibitions. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org about purchasing or the loan of work.
A Sense of Scale
The virus sculptures are approximately 1,000,000 times larger than the actual viruses. This great slide bar animation shows how small they really are.
Senior Research Fellowship at CFPR, University of West of England
Fellowship at Museum of Glass, Washington, 2011
25th Rakow Award from The Corning Museum of Glass, 2010
EPSRC, PPE Grant with ISVR, University of Southampton, 2009
ACE Grants for the Arts Programme, 2010
Nominated for Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award for Visual Artist, 2009 & 2005
Nominated for Artes Mundi 4 Prize, 2009
Institute of Medical Image Award for HIV sculpture, 2007
UK Clark Digital Arts Bursary, Watershed Media Centre, 2006
AHRC Arts and Science Fellowship at UWE, 2005-2006
Drawing Inspiration Award received for educational workshops, 2006
Arts and Business Award, Strike a Match, 2006
NESTA (National Endowment for Science Technology and Arts) Fellowship, 2002-2005
ACE Arts Council Touring grant, 2001
Da2 Digital Arts Development Agency Clarkes Digital Bursary, 1999
Jerram’s glassworks are in private collections around the world as well as the following museums and institutions…
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Corning Museum, New York
Museum of Glass, Washington
Knoxville Museum of Art, USA
Shanghai Museum of Glass, China
The Collection – Lincoln Museum, UK
Museum of Health & Medicine, University of Tokyo
Cosmo Caixa, Barcelona
Arkansas Arts Center, USA
Deutshes Hygiene-Museum, Germany
MUSE, Trento, Italy
Technical University of Denmark
University of Melbourne, Australia
Bristol and Bath Science Park, UK
Chrysler Museum, USA
Chazen Museum, Wisconsin, USA
Alexander Tutsek Foundation, Germany
The Wellcome Collection, London, UK
Bristol City Museum, UK