Anke and Deborah met through the Soapbox: Science & Art platform. Deborah's sculptures test whether art works can operate as working tools for Anke's discussion on brain tumor research with the public
Dr Anke Brüning-Richardson & Deborah Gardner
Anke and Deborah met and collaborated through the Soapbox: Science & Art platform (Zoological Society of London and University of Leeds). Discussing their individual research areas, they found that they share interests in ideas of cellularity, multiplicity, propagation, and migration, as well as a consideration of correlations between the micro and the macro, from the cosmos to the interior body. During Leeds Light Night 2017, Deborah made sculptures with neon helium balloons as a means of testing to what extent art works can operate as working tools, which may cultivate insight into Ankes discussion with members of the public on her most recent research activity and ideas of nuclei and migration.
Anke is a cancer researcher and was an Engagement Excellence Fellow in 2015/16 at the University of Leeds. She is now based at the University of Huddersfield and investigates new ways to diagnose and treat aggressive cancers, such as brain tumours. Being passionately involved in public engagement and outreach work she often finds it difficult to engage the public on the topic of cancer as it is still often seen as a death sentence. Using colourful images of cancer cells, created as part of her research, are however perceived as beautiful, particularly when the viewer does not know what they are looking at. This enables a dialogue and takes away associated fears and misconceptions and allows for engagement to take place.
Deborahs work is inspired by the growth patterns of physical phenomena and, most recently, by her microscope observations of botanic solutions at Leeds Discovery Centre and Ankes images of cells shared in collaborative activity. Deborahs sculptures explore ideas of accumulation and multiplicity, where the making is improvisatory. The conceptualisation and articulation of sculpture is driven through tactile approaches to material and construction. The sculptures test how static structures may be imbued with a sense of speed, mutation and development.
Please contact Dr Anke Brüning-Richardson for more information.