Illuminating Bugs – a fusion of art and science

Hill is currently developing his practice alongside internationally recognised scientists at the Centre for Bacterial Cell Biology, (CBCB) at Newcastle University to develop a new programme of artwork that is inspired by the, “hitherto hidden microbial kingdom”. The project; “Illuminating Bugs” enables him to interact directly with scientists by becoming part of the wider CBCB community and demonstrate how art practice can amalgamate with science to present an alternative means of visualising the Kingdom of the microbe. His presence has stimulated such interest that it lays the foundation to forge a body of artwork, designed to evoke direct engagement between the public, arts, and science.

This ambitious project began in 2014 and the proposed artwork is the result of 24 months of meticulous research and practice, and the care and support of many people; most notably, CBCB Director, Professor Jeff Errington, FRS, Professor Colin Harwood, and DR. Richard Daniel. Hill’s curiosity of the microbial world was initially triggered by a life-threatening streptococcal infection in 1990, and that both profoundly influenced his artistic development and stimulated a desire to consolidate his artwork within a scientific community. This led him to approach the CBCB’s Director, Professor Jeff Errington FRS, with a proposal to collaborate on the nature of microbial structure and function by fusing the imagery emerging from their particular methods of practice. Since then, the vision for the project has become much more than that.

“Illuminating Bugs”  is about fostering a culture of community and excellence between the public, art, and science. It extends the collaboration into new realms of creative practice alongside established artists who specialise in glass, metal, light, and sound. Construction of the artwork will take 24months to complete, which is being envisaged as an interactive installation for a major exhibition and a future programme of public activities, including further collaborations, exhibitions, and workshops.

. 4 x 2 cm approx

“Illuminating Bugs” is in collaboration with the Centre for Bacterial Cell Biology at Newcastle University;