Leicester artists begin new project to explore creative and visual responses to DNA research

Posted by er134 at Mar 14, 2017 10:27 AM |
Ruth Singer and Gillian McFarland will be based in the University of Leicester’s Department of Genetics

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 14 March 2017

Images from the project and of the artists with Dr King available to download at: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/c8d1x6ne2v9wd06/AACYj0kTleIJLulKW6bQuNaRa?dl=0

A new project at the University of Leicester is exploring art and DNA.

Leicester-based artists Ruth Singer and Gillian McFarland have begun working with Dr Turi King, Reader in Genetics and Archaeology, on a project which explores creative and visual responses to DNA research.

The artists will be immersing themselves within the Department of Genetics spending time with Turi King and a number of researchers in the field of genetics to create new artwork inspired by the ideas, processes and conversations with academics.

Ruth and Gillian have a studio space within the Department to use as a base between research visits and observation in labs. The project includes sessions with two local secondary schools who will contribute to an exhibition later in 2017. They will be running regular workshops for academics and students to creatively engage with their work and contribute to the exhibition.

There will also be a touring display, film and a publication about the project over the summer and autumn, as well as events and activities for staff, students and members of the public.

The project is funded by Arts Council England and the University of Leicester with additional support from Dr Turi King and the De Montfort University Fine Art Photography Research Group.

Ruth Singer, a textile artist who has exhibited with the National Centre for Craft & Design and won the 2016 Fine Art Quilt Masters competition, said: “This is a really exciting creative project, allowing us to get involved in groundbreaking research and to explore ideas and processes way beyond our normal experience. Working in collaboration is exciting for us and it promises to be creatively challenging and invigorating.”

Gillian McFarland, a visual artist and art therapist who has worked with the Royal Astronomical Society and collaborated with academics in the University’s Physics and Astronomy Department, said: “The process of discovery is a very strong creative force for arts and science. We are interested in deepening our understanding of genetics through observation, reflection and engagement with researching academics.”

Dr Turi King, Reader in Genetics and Archaeology at the University of Leicester, said: “The project came about after a chance discussion between Gillian and I about my genetic research around surnames, genetic genealogy and Richard III and how I used the imagery of threads and fabric as a way of explaining genetic inheritance.

“I’ve always been interested in the crossover between science and society so I’m really excited to be working with Gillian and Ruth and seeing the wonderful work they’ll be creating as their way of interpreting the science that we do.”

Ruth’s website can be found at: ruthsinger.com and Gillian’s at: gillianadair.co.uk


Notes to editors:

For more information, contact:

Ruth Singer at: ruth@ruthsinger.com

Gillian McFarland at: gillianadairmcf@yahoo.co.uk

Dr Turi King: tek2@le.ac.uk

About the artists



About Arts Council England




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