Luke Jerram’s Glass Microbiology has been developed since 2004. Made to contemplate the global impact of each disease, the artworks were created as alternative representations of viruses to the artificially coloured imagery we receive through the media. In fact, viruses have no colour as they are smaller than the wavelength of light. 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 they represent.
Glass Microbiology 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.
Jerram’s Glass Microbiology artworks are in museum collections around the world including The Metropolitan Museum of Art (NYC), Shanghai Museum of Glass, Wellcome Collection (London), the Corning Museum, (USA). The work has recently been shown in Glasstress at the Venice Biennale and Museum of Art and Design in NYC. In 2010 Jerram won the coveted Rakow Award for this work and a fellowship at the Museum of Glass, Washington. In 2009 his sculptures were presented at Mori Museum, Tokyo along with work by Damien Hirst, Warhol and Leonardo da Vinci. Jerram’s sculptures have been presented in The Lancet, The BMJ and the front cover of Nature Magazine.