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By: Cynthia | November 16 2009 | Category: Science and the Arts

three glass sculptures of virusesArtist Luke Jerram creates glass sculptures of deadly viruses.

Search the Web for images of a virus, and you’ll see many colorful versions. So what is the real color of the swine flu virus? Honestly, I don’t know. Does it really matter? Well, maybe ... if the artist’s rendition “colors” our understanding of how a virus really works.

These are the types of questions colorblind UK artist Luke Jerram External Web Site Policy asked when he created a series of transparent glass sculptures modeled after viruses. He wondered how a person could tell the difference between an image colored for scientific versus aesthetic reasons, and how color affects the reception of an image. He also saw the project as way to explore the global impact of diseases these viruses cause.

Right now, the sculptures are on display at Mori Museum, External Web Site Policy Tokyo.
In January 2010, they will be at the Courtauld Institute, External Web Site Policy London.

A slideshow of Jerram’s sculptures External Web Site Policy includes models of the HIV, swine flu, and smallpox viruses. While looking at these beautiful images, you might easily forget what they represent – viruses that can make you ill or kill you.
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