Glass Life Exhibition

Glass Life is an art exhibition that explores cell biology. This stunning exhibition was installed at The Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh, Glass houses at the end of June 2016 and remained in residence until 5th December 2016. The exhibition was based in the temperate glass house, which has two levels. Upstairs on the bridge we had a series of works based on laboratory equipment called 96 well ploate. Downstairs we had a variety of pieces that visually represented the things we invesitgate.

At the Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell Biology, our research mission is to understand living systems at a cellular level, making discoveries that advance knowledge of normal and abnormal cell function and thus health and disease. This exhibition explores how we do our research and what we are researching.

The central piece to the exhibition was a large microtubule sculpture. Microtubules are tiny biological tubes that are vital for cell function. They are one of many important structure that we study at our centre, and one of the more effective targest for chemotherapy medicine. Microtubules are essential in cell division, and cancer is essentially a disease of cell division.

Many of the other artworks downstairs showed cells dividing, probably the most important life process that we study.

There were sculptures representing microplates: these are a key toll in cell biology, and they come in 96, 384 and 1536 well sizes.

Each well is like a tiny test-tube, a slightly different experiement is run in each one, and a different results can occur.

The glass sculptures represent the microplates, the variations across the glass represent the different results from each well.

Different sculptures represent different experiements. Some experiments look promising, some were a disaster.

The larger scupltures were made by Sarah Keer-Keer and Laura Reed. All the small sculptures that describe research were made by the researchers themselves supported by Laura and Sarah.