In which I admire stunning glass sculptures – part un.

OK, this is a bit of a tangent compared to the usual serious business that is characteristic of this blog. However, it is still extremely science related, and focuses on the aesthetics of what science may reveal to us.

I am not really talking about Charlie Murphy’s glass casts of naughty bits on display at the Wellcome Collection in London, either, fascinating as they are… Instead, I am talking of Luke Jerram’s Glass Sculptures.

Luke Jerram is an artist from Bristol who produces installation art and glass sculptures, and it is his glass sculptures that I am going to be focusing on. He has basically created some rather stunning glass sculptures of viruses and bacteria and I intend to present some photographs for your edification below.

I went to the Wellcome Collection a few weeks ago and I found this sculpture of the Swine Flu Virus that he’d concocted.

Swine Flu Virus Sculpture by Luke Jerram, top view. Photo taken at the Wellcome Collection by Exploreable.

Same sculpture as above, side view.

That isn’t all there is to it, though, he’s produced a whole set of sculptures under the aegis of the “Glass Microbiology” collection (unfortunately, all of those aren’t at the Wellcome Collection) and as a result I will have to use the good old internet to supply thee with the eye candy thou crave…

The following are from the Glass Microbiology website at

E.coli sculpture

E.coli again.

Those two are of E.coli.

Swine-Flu (Oval) - Close-up.

Swine Flu (Oval) Full unit

Those two are of the Swine Flu Virus.

HPV closeup

HPV from a distance

Those two are of the Human Papilloma Virus

Malaria Sculpture

That one is of Plasmodium vivax, the organism that causes malaria.

What follows is a collection of videos featuring those sculptures

Here’s a BBC interview clipwhere Luke speaks about what motivated him to produce the collection. I think it is excellent, except for the gaffe where E.coli has been labelled as a virus.

Finally, here’s a clip that shows some of the making of Jerram’s HIV sculpture.

If you get a chance to go to one of his exhibitions, then please do!

In the future, I may try to do a post on Annie Cattrell’s work, which is also quite exquisite.



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