wellcome collection: foreign bodies, common ground

an exhibition of works produced during 6 artist’s residencies in medical research centres worldwide. i was particularly taken by katie paterson‘s piece – a necklace made of meticulously carved fossils, arranged in chronological order, inspired by the sanger institute‘s research into human genomics.

the presentation of the piece was particularly effective – it was displayed in a darkened room, illuminated with spotlights on two sides, visitors were given magnifying glasses to inspect the tiny beads up close. the contextual information given alongside was very useful – a diagram listing all the different fossils, postcards with close-up images of each and a short film about the making of the necklace.

my first impression was of a string of tiny planets or moons suspended in the blackness of space. it was particularly interesting to discover the artist’s interest in astronomy as this clearly showed itself in the final work.

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