Der Biochemische Zyklus – The Krebs Cycle

I’m very excited to announce the unveiling of my most recent painting ‘Der Biochemische Zyklus’ – an abstract interpretation of the Krebs Cycle. This project was commissioned by The University Of Sheffield as part of Krebs Fest a week long festival aiming to celebrate the major achievements of Nobel price winner Sir Hans Krebs. The painting is now permanently displayed in Firth court at the main entrance of the university together with other Science/Art works by amazing artists such as Seiko Kinoshita, Keith Robinson, and Luke Jerram.

The Krebs cycle is a biochemical process discovered in 1937 by Prof Hans Krebs at The University Of Sheffield. This metabolic pathway explains how breathing organisms convert carbohydrates into water and carbon dioxide for usable energy in cellular respiration.

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The series of chemical reactions are represented by dark blue, bean-shaped molecules hovering above a dense, concentric molecular network. The length of the beans is representative of the carbon chain length of the Krebs cycle intermediates, which are actively recycled within one turn of the cycle.

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As these reactions occur inside a cellular structure called the mitochondrion – often referred to as ‘the powerhouse of the cell’- a depiction of the familiar folds of the mitochondrial inner membrane were incorporated as a backdrop to the circular image.

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The energy released during the Krebs cycle is represented by gold diamonds at specific points, ready to be transferred to, and utilized by all other biochemical processes within the cell.IMG_1396_Blanchard1200

The many blue shades in the composition refer to the dye methylene blue, which was used by Sir Hans Krebs and his predecessors to demonstrate oxido-reduction phenomena, and to identify the different elements of the cycle. White bands loosely link the different reactions and elements of the cycle and are reminiscent of the white arrows in Sir Han’s famous blackboard scheme. IMG_1400_Blanchard1200

Many thanks to the university’s amazing public engagement team, Lynne Fox, Prof Simon Foster et Al, and Prof Dave Hornby.

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