In later July, I was selected as one of the artists that would be working with the BioSciences department at Sheffield University, to work with a group of scientists on BioFest. It's been such an interesting opportunity, which has developed quite a lot from my first meeting. Initially, I thought I would be working with stem cells and looking at the progression of conditions such as MS, or Parkinson's. However, I have ended up working with an oncology department, looking at breast cancer, and metastasising breast cancer cells. I have had the opportunity to study healthy mammary cells in different ways, and have looking at how cancers cells enter and disrupt the breast tissue. I've been able to go into the labs, to look at these cells under a microscope, which has been so fascinating.
In terms of my own work, I am planning on drawing various cells and having them repeated printed onto fabric. I will create a fabric tunnel, beginning with the healthy cytoskeleton of a mammary cell, leading through to the metastasis of a cancer cell. I will encourage viewers to walk both ways through this tunnel, to get a sense both of natural progression of conditions and diseases, and to think about the scientific research being done to undo their damage. At the end of the project, I am hoping to turn these fabric panels into bags, which will be sold to raise funds for cancer research UK.
I have created a video piece, which will be played on a screen as you exit the tunnel. My husband Sam, who does a lot of music production and plays in a few bands, has created a really beautiful piece of music to go alongside this video. The sound begins in a light and gentle way, and gradually distorts and corrupts, as and to what the cancer cells are doing inside the body. It's been such a pleasure to work on this project, and I feel very honoured to have had the opportunity. Sheffield University have allowed me a lot of creative freedom, which has really created an interesting working harmony, between the science and the visual representations, in a creative manner. It feels like a big responsibility but hopefully it will all come together in the way we imagine.
The work will be installed on Nov 1st 2023, and should be available to see throughout that month.
Semi regular updates of what I'm doing & making.