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Glass microbiology and Luke Jerram

Glass Microbiology is a body of glass work which has been developed by artist Luke Jerram since 2004. Made to contemplate the global impact of each disease, the artworks are created as alternative representations of viruses to the artificially coloured imagery received through the media. 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.


Internationally-renowned artist Luke Jerram has created a coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, glass sculpture in tribute to the huge global scientific and medical effort to combat the pandemic. Made in glass, at 45cm in diameter, it is 6.3 million times larger than the actual virus.


“Helping to communicate the form of the virus to the public, the artwork has been created

as an alternative representation to the artificially coloured imagery received through the media. In fact, viruses have no colour as they are smaller than the wavelength of light.”

“This artwork is a tribute to the scientists and medical teams who are working collaboratively across the world during this pandemic.” Luke Jerram


Made through a process of scientific glassblowing, the coronavirus model is based on the latest scientific understanding and diagrams of the virus.


To mark the ten millionth vaccination in the UK, international artist Luke Jerram has now made and released a sculpture of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in glass.


The artwork, which is 34cm across, is 1 million times larger than the actual nanoparticle. Created from borosilicate glass, it is made from the same materials and techniques used in medical scientific glassware for test tubes and distilleries.


Browse his website to see other fascinating forms of disease and his other works


Image: Vaccine and virus (from his website)



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