Biological aversions

With this project I am returning to the subject of biological influences. Addressing the conversation of what we are made of and why we feel the way we do about biological things. Why does the suggestion that something may be covered with a ‘bio-film’ make us want to wash our hands? Why when we hear the word ‘virus’ do we have automatic associations with disease, death, invasive bad vs our good etc? In actuality Viruses are essential in our systems and a huge part of our DNA is made up from past virus interventions. Our perceptions of the Aesthetic and the Abject.I’m interested in playing with this aversion. My aim is to create something aesthetically appealing, not necessarily attractive but definitely appealing, I want that object to hold the viewers attention for long enough for them to question its inspiration and to be pushed inadvertently to consider the idea of cellular or viral matter as part of something that is attractive or appealing.

The work is appearing as part of an exhibition ‘Core’ exhibiting in Plymouth during May 2013. The work is displayed in a specially constructed corridor space which is enclosed at one end, this encourages the viewer to engage with the work as part of a journey and then forces them to reconsider their reactions as they  have to return via the same path to exit. This elongated contemplation period discourages the rushed aesthetic voyeurism that can be common in a white cube setting and allows the viewer time to digest the concepts behind the work as well as appreciating its visual qualities. It was also featured in an edition of the Guardian Art and Culture online edition and elements of the work were part of the exhibition, “First impressions” – View Gallery Bristol in 2013.

Materials: Gesso, Histology stains, Agar gel, food colouring, Bacteria


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