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Exhibition Outline

The Blyth Gallery at Imperial College are pleased to present a solo exhibition of artworks by internationally acclaimed bioartist Anna Dumitriu exploring our relationship to the microbial world. Dumitriu’s art practice fuses craft, technology and bioscience to weave complex but engaging narratives around our relationship to infectious disease and its cultural and personal implications. She works hands-on with the tools and techniques of microbiology and synthetic biology to create intricate artworks that reveal strange histories and emerging futures. Her obsessions with the history and treatment of infectious diseases, medical ethics, antibiotics and antibiotic resistance, natural dyes and ancient remedies, the evolution of drug discovery process and genetics speak urgently to the concerns of wide audiences and make for a visceral and emotionally affecting experience.

 

The exhibition will include works from many of her key projects including her Romantic Disease project which explores mankind’s strange relationship with ‘the Romantic Disease’ Tuberculosis (TB) from early superstitions about the disease, through the development of antibiotics, to the latest research into whole genome sequencing of bacteria, and some of her works exploring synthetic biology and the hunt for new antibiotic solutions – particularly inspired through her collaboration with the Modernising Medical Microbiology Project. Visitors will be struck by her unexpected uses of materials that combine intricate traditional and sometimes ancient art making techniques with the use of lab generated materials including sterilised disease-causing, or genetically modified bacteria. The work featured in the exhibition is drawn from many collaborations and is presented with support from Dr Elita Jauneikaite and Dr Nicola Fawcett.

Artist’s Biography

Anna Dumitriu is a British artist working at the cutting edge of biomedical research, combining fine art and craft techniques with microbiology, genetics and synthetic biology. She has a strong international exhibition profile, having exhibited at The Picasso Museum in Barcelona (Spain), The Science Gallery in Dublin (Eire), The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Taipei (Taiwan), Waag Society Amsterdam (Netherlands), Art Laboratory Berlin (Germany), and The V & A Museum in London (UK). Her work is held in several major public collections, including the Science

Museum London (UK) and Eden Project in Cornwall (UK). She works embedded in scientific and medical settings and is artist in residence on the Modernising Medical Microbiology Project at the University of Oxford (UK), a visiting research fellow: artist in residence in the Department of Computer Science at The University of Hertfordshire (UK), an honorary research fellow in the Wellcome Trust Brighton and Sussex Centre for Global Health at Brighton and Sussex Medical School (UK), and a research fellow at Waag Society (Netherlands). In 2016 she completed a residency at the Liu Laboratory for Synthetic Evolution at The University of California in Irvine (USA) and the resulting artworks were featured in the groundbreaking exhibition “WETWARE” at the Beall Center for Art and Technology in Irvine (USA) curated by Jens Hauser and David Familian. Her work is featured in William Myers significant large format book on Bio Art, entitled “Bio Art: Altered Realities” published by Thames and Hudson in 2016.

 

Most recently Dumitriu has been collaborating with Professor Maggie Smith at The University of York to artistically explore “The Hunt for New Antimicrobials”, and is currently working with the EU FET project MRG-Grammar to investigate the grammar of gene regulation at The Wellcome Sanger Institute, The Weizmann Institute (Israel) and Technion (Israel) through an EU FEAT residency. She is the artist partner and on the EU Horizon 2020 funded FET support action FEAT: Future Emerging Art and Technology.

 

 

Most recently Dumitriu has been collaborating with Professor Maggie Smith at The University of York to artistically explore “The Hunt for New Antimicrobials”, and is currently working with the EU FET project MRG-Grammar to investigate the grammar of gene regulation at The Wellcome Sanger Institute, The Weizmann Institute (Israel) and Technion (Israel) through an EU FEAT residency. She is the artist partner and on the EU Horizon 2020 funded FET support action FEAT: Future Emerging Art and Technology.

Events

Exhibition Tour 29th March 12:30pm-1:30pm in the Blyth Gallery

Artist Anna Dumitriu will lead a tour of the gallery and answer questions about her artwork and the ideas and techniques that underpin it. The tour is open to members of the public, Imperial College staff and students and members of the press.

Workshop: Bioart and antimicrobial resistance workshop with Anna Dumitriu, Dr Elita Jauneikaite (Imperial College) and Dr Nicola Fawcett (University of Oxford) 1:30pm-4:00pm in the Blyth Gallery

A hands-on practical art-science workshop with artist Anna Dumitriu and Dr. Elita Jauneikaite from Imperial College exploring how art can creatively explore the complex issues around antimicrobial resistance and new technologies in microbiology such as whole genome sequencing and synthetic biology. The workshop is open adults and over 10s accompanied by a parent/guardian, no experience is required. Free.

Artists Talk by Anna Dumitriu as part of the Imperial College CDT Festival of Science: Science and Art 21st April 2017

Anna Dumitriu will discuss her artistic practice, collaborative working methods and work in the exhibition as part of the Imperial College CDT Festival.

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