I am delighted to present my newest mural here – a collaboration with CBMNet at the University Of Sheffield, in conjunction with Festival Of The Mind 2016 / Fear of the Unseen: Engineering Good Bacteria.
The ‘Crossing Biological Membranes Network’ is composed of scientists working to understand the mechanisms by which substances are transported into, within, and out of cells. Their ultimate aim is to produce knowledge which will enable the development of new technologies in the Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy sector (eg: producing biofuels using E coli bacteria).
My role in this collaboration has been to translate the CBMNet area of work into a large outdoor mural located within the university campus. For this occasion I have presented my interpretation of a detail of a cell membrane as seen under an electron microscope, having undergone a cryofracture. A cryofracture is a procedure in which the sample is frozen quickly and then broken with a sharp blow so you are able to study its structure in very close detail – Imagine breaking a bar of chocolate with hazelnuts, this way you can see how hazelnuts are positioned inside the bar…
For an online animation of a biomembrane cryofracture follow this link: http://www.sciencephoto.com/media/530082/view
There is an incredible amount of information available about the structure & functioning of a biological membrane, and many ways to interpret this artistically. I chose to stick with the basic knowledge that biomembranes are mainly composed of the following molecules: phopholipids, cholesterol, proteins and carbohydrate ramifications (see diagram below), and that at any moment smaller molecules are transiting through it in both directions. All these elements are represented on the final visual.
Above: Diagram of a small portion of cell membrane
Learning the structure of biological membranes was one of my favourite topics during my PhD because it involved lots of drawing. Typically a biomembrane is made of two thin lipid sheets stuck together with large elements (proteins) inserted through them. In a cell, this molecular ensemble surrounds and prevents the inside of the cell from being in contact with the outside of the cell. This structure is highly dynamic: proteins move within this ‘bilayer’ in 2 dimensions to specific locations when the cell needs it. In order to represent this in an accurate diagram, you need to draw a 3 dimensions structure, which mostly had 2 dimensional capabilities, on a (2 dimensional) piece of paper – woo ha!
This project was made possible by Festival Of The Mind and BBSRC. Thank you Jen Vanderhoven from CBMNet for inviting me and Mika Ohtsuki for helping out with the mural. A projection of a short documentary about the project is planned on Sept 19 at Spiegeltent FOTM: Fear of the Unseen: Engineering Good Bacteria
I will have 3 pieces in the following group show at B&B gallery – along with the work of around 40 other amazing artists from around the world! All artworks are for sale. Pieces bought before the holidays may be collected / delivered prior to Christmas. For price list or to book an appointment, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dec 12th – Jan 18th
B&B Gallery / 95B Mary St / Sheffield / S1 4RT
Bradbury & Blanchard are pleased to announce our inaugural Winter Group Show
, which marks the end of a fantastic first year. The exhibition features an incredible line-up of some of our favourite artists from around the world, celebrating a diverse range of printmaking, painting, illustration, photography, animation and sculpture.
Thursday December 12th. 6.30 – 9pm. RSVP
Saturdays 12 – 6pm or by appointment during the week.
95B Mary St. Sheffield. S1 4RT
We look forward to seeing you there. Kind regards. B&B x
While on Sidney street I drank 6 cups of tea, spoke with about 25 people, ignored a good 55, rescued someone from a parking garage, indicated where to find shops, train station, college, restaurant, heard ‘you missed a spot’ about 33 times, and in between managed to paint this. Pfeww x
Thanks James, Jonathan, Rupert & Libby x
While in New York I worked on several occasions with Aspira of New York, an organization which aims to foster the social advancement of the Puerto Rican/Latino youth community. They organize annual city youth conferences in the Bronx which are very popular and for which I was asked to provide graffiti workshops. I found this old handout I made to explain how to do build a graffiti piece from just keeping proportions right, to adding 3D, highlights and background at the end. The following photos are from 2007.
On Saturday September 12, 2009, New Yorkers were invited to ‘stop and listen’ to the nocturnal chirping of crickets. The goal was to survey the presence of several species of crickets and katydids across the five boroughs and beyond. The collaboration between several hundreds of volunteers and scientists based at the American Museum of Natural History and U.S. Geological Survey Patuxent Wildlife Research Center allowed the construction of a preliminary map showing the distribution of 7 species of Crickets and Katytids spanning over 300 localities. This type of event is termed ‘Bioblitz’ and provides instant snapshots of the natural world, which can later serve as baseline in ecological studies.
‘Cricket Crawl’ is a 32:19 long audio documentary about this event, which aired for the first time on free103point9 internet radio as part of the Giant Ear))) ‘back to school sounds’ show on Sunday, September 27 at 7pm.
Back to School sounds was curated by sound artist Mikhail Iliatov, a member of New York Society for Acoustic Ecology.
The official NYC Cricket Crawl event’s webpage is available here.
Back in 2005 I met Yseult Digan, a French film director, street artist and music producer from Paris. Yseult contacted me because she was looking for protagonists for a documentary project about empowerment of female New Yorkers in urban subcultures. For 2 years, she went back and forth between Paris and New York to follow the lives and works of 7 New Yorkers including myself, shooting and editing sequences until completion of her project in 2008.
The film is titled ‘New York City Girls’ and was selected at RAKKAUTTA & ANARKIAA festival which will happen this month in Helsinki (09/17-09/27). I pasted the synopsis and trailer below.
French Touch Selection / Director: Yseult Digan
New York City Girls
Often, the urban said scenes are predominantly male occupation. The ”street” was considered for a long time as a dangerous playground where girls were excluded. Today, we fi nally see young ladies who by means of work and perseverance offer quality propositions and new approach of their discipline.
”New York City Girls” is a journey in the heart of the city. Through several portraits of women living in New York, we discover their respective universe; graffi ti, skateboard, breakdance, handball, bike messenging, fashion and music. Far from the feminist demands, those young followers of urban culture live their passion simply, without asking the question of a possible legitimacy of gender other than their talent.
Beyond the cultural aspect, ”New York City Girls” is also a social documentary; Due to the diverse cultural background of the characters, this film is a eulogy of social diversity. These women are the emblems of what is New York today; A cosmopolitan city where the cultures meet and exchange to create a new lifestyle.
Trailer available below.