Luke Jerram Sculpts World’s Most Deadly Viruses into Beautiful Glass Art

by , 01/09/14
filed under: Art, Design, Gallery

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

Via My Modern Met

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  1. Holly Taggart May 19, 2014 at 7:05 pm

    I, like TruScientist take issue with the title. Some of these viruses/bacteria and the T4 are not viruses, and certianly not representative of the world’s most deadly viruses. But I adore adore the sculptures, and wish there was one for C. difficult…my complete and utter nemesis in my career.

  2. TruScientist April 2, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    These are beautiful pieces of art. A great deal of research, time, and effort has gone into each and every one of these amazing glass sculptures. My issue is with the title of the piece, …”world’s most deadly viruses…” Not all of these sculptures represents a virus, as clearly there are bacteria represented as well. Also, not all of the sculptures represent deadly viruses, bacteriophages have been used as natural antibiotics for quite some time as they are natural killers of specific bacteria as well as being the most abundant “living” things on the planet (I put “living” in quotes, because virus are not technically alive as they cannot reproduce on their own). Again, my comment is more about the title of the article, and how I wish the author (or editor, whomever penned the title) would have done just a bit more research so as not to sound ignorant and take away from the absolute beauty of nature and the pieces.

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