I’m Infected! Amazing Glass Sculptures of Deadly Viruses by Luke Jerram

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Luke Jerram is an incredible artist. Among other installations, and live art projects, he also creates, since 2004, on Glass Microbiology, deadly viruses… In glass!

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Sculpture of HIV virus in glass by Luke Jerram. Photo: Luke Jerram

The artworks are created as alternative representations of viruses to the artificially coloured imagery received through the media since, in reality, viruses have no colour as they are smaller than the wavelength of light.

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Swine Flu Glass Sculpture by Luke Jerram. Photo: Luke Jerram

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 theyrepresent.

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.

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Deadly virus sculpture: Malaria virus by Luke Jerram. Photo: Luke Jerram

His transparent and colourless glassworks consider how the artificial colouring of scientific microbiological imagery, affects our understanding of these phenomena.

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glass sculptures of deadly viruses by Luke Jerram: T4 Bacteriophage. Photo: Luke Jerram

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?

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. This gallery contains more specimens.

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