Big Science I
This piece of work is part of an ongoing collaboration between myself and the Medical Research Council’s Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics. These creative responses have been informed by conversations with staff at the Centre, exploring aspects of their research into conditions such as Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder, ADHD and Depression. Large scale psychiatric genetic studies require a blood sample in order to extract DNA plus an in-depth interview with the participant. I was struck by the meticulousness and delicacy of the questioning process and the care with which information is collected. The complexity of psychiatric conditions such as these means large study sizes are required in order for the studies to have sufficient power so there is a great need for participants. Each individual is a small but unique, important and valuable part of a much bigger picture.
The artwork is, therefore, symbolic and commemorative of the many people, blood samples and data records required; acknowledging the delicacy and care with which this individual information is gathered and processed, both for now and for the future. Scale, a collective mass, variability and the metaphorical nature of the materials and processes used, are key features of this series of artworks.
Big Science I was first installed in August 2011 at the MRC Centre in Cardiff. It was then exhibited at Glamorgan University in September and at BayArt gallery, Cardiff in October/November. It was also exhibited at Art Central gallery in Barry throughout March 2012.