Luke Jerram, conceptual art, glass art, glass sculptures, Glass Microbiology, swine flu, hiv, pathogens, virologists, kim george, moma, virus sculpture

Frustrated by the constant, inaccurate representations of viruses in textbooks and the media, Jerram was inspired to create his transparent and colorless Glass Microbiology series in 2004. To recreate each virus in glass as accurately as possible, he consulted with virologists from the University of Bristol. Jerram also collaborated with professional glassblowers such as Kim George, for help with the intricate and delicate pieces. Each handmade viral sculpture measures roughly one million times larger than the pathogen it represents.

In addition to bringing global attention to the viruses in a new light, Glass Microbiology has also touched the lives of those suffering from disease. Some have written to Jerram to say that gaining an artistic appreciation of the viruses has helped them confront their disease in a new way. His work has been added to New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art’s permanent collection and will be on tour in the U.S. for the spring.

+ Luke Jerram

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