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…
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!
Friday is the opening of a new group exhibition at B&B Gallery: SOMETHING MADE DIFFERENT. I will be showing a series of new paintings inspired by my last trip to Bekkai Japan.
Owen Richards (UK), Seiko Kinoshita (JP), Jo Peel (UK), Florence Blanchard (FR), Christopher Jarratt (UK)
July 1st – 24th / B&B Gallery, Sheffield 95B Mary street
Opening times: Saturdays 10am – 4pm / weekdays by appointment
Private View: Friday 1st July / 6-9pm (Please RSVP firstname.lastname@example.org)
After a successful debut at Parades Gallery in Matsumoto, Japan, we are delighted to bring this wonderful group show to a UK audience. Join us for the second instalment of SOMETHING MADE DIFFERENT – a collaborative exhibition of new works by 5 international artists, inspired by Japanese imagery and experiences.
The juxtaposition of Japan’s rich cultural heritage sitting alongside unique social and pioneering technological environments lends itself to diverse responses. Each artist has spent time in various parts of Japan, which has informed their individual take on a country of great contrasts. Photographs, paintings, textiles and mixed media installations will be on view throughout in the B&B gallery space throughout July.
Summer is here and it is time for SOMETHING MADE DIFFERENT.
This Friday is the opening of SOMETHING / MADE / DIFFERENT a four person exhibition at Parades gallery in Matsumoto Japan with artwork by Jo Peel, Chris Jarratt, Owen Richards and myself. The exhibition will travel to Tokyo later in the year.
Something made differentとは今あるものを別のものにするという意味があります。
For any enquiry: email@example.com 080 4426 2265
Each artist will be exhibiting their individual response to Japan, a country of great contrasts. The juxtaposition of its rich cultural heritage sitting alongside unique social and pioneering technological environments lends itself to diverse responses……… Spring is here and it is time for something made different.
“The aim of every artist is to arrest motion” William Faulkner
We are delighted to introduce the work of French painter, muralist and screenprinter Florence Blanchard.
Throughout April we will be exhibiting a small but perfectly formed group of original paintings and prints, with all works available to purchase in person from the gallery or online here.
Blanchard was one of the first female graffiti writers in France and began working in the early 1990s under the name Ema. She then moved to New York where she graduated with a PhD from New York University in 2008. This coincided with a progressive shift in style, moving away from traditional graffiti and adopting a more abstract approach. The artist’s recent work is directly inspired by her training as a scientist and depicts abstract molecular landscapes questioning the idea of visual perception.
“As a trained molecular biologist, I have thoroughly observed nature through powerful microscopic lenses. Underpinned by a knowledge that all matter is made of particles – whether animal, human or mineral my artwork aims to magnify what the human eye can’t see. I invite viewers to immerse themselves in an uncanny macroscopic world. By representing molecules on a large-scale I aim to question our perception of our surroundings. Through bold geometric shapes, fluorescent colours and representations of particles colliding in planned riots of abstraction I aim to depict people flowing through the station at any instant with the ultimate goal to arrest this peculiar motion.” Florence Blanchard, April 2016
These stunning works will be on display until Saturday 30th April. For further details please contact us here or call the gallery direct on +44 (0)1423 884400.