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The Gurdon Institute


In 2018, we partnered with the Kettle's Yard art gallery in Cambridge on an experimental new project, bringing three artists to the Gurdon Institute to develop works inspired by our scientific research.

experiments youtubeWatch the video of our Festival of Ideas event, where we displayed the project's artistic outputs. 

Experiments in Art & Science

This was a new type of public engagement project for the Gurdon Institute, funded by Wellcome.

Working with Kettle's Yard in Cambridge, we invited three emerging contemporary artists to explore, interact with and respond to the work being done by a research group of their choice at the Institute.

Up to three scientists collaborated with each artist over a period of several months, and the artists produced outputs to be shared with the public at a variety of events through the 10-month collaboration.

The aims of the project were to:

    • inspire excitement and interest in science
    • disseminate the work of the Institute to a wider and broader public
    • engage hard-to-reach audiences of all ages who may not usually attend science programmes
    • encourage meaningful collaboration between artists and scientists
    • provide artists with the opportunity to experiment
    • provide scientists the opportunity to discuss their research with people they wouldn't normally interact withGurdonInst_Art&Science border


Read more about the project outputs here.

Project timetable:

Collaborations began: mid-January 2018

Event at Kettle's Yard: 12th May 2018 - Artists presented their initial ideas to the public with hands-on activities

Event at Cambridge Live BIG Weekend, Parker's Piece: 14th July 2018 - Hands on activities around on the theme of neurons in a dish

Final showcase event for the Cambridge Festival of Ideas: 20th October 2018 -  Presentation of final art works to the public at an Institute open day

Read our blog posts on the Kettle's yard website

Meet the artists:

Laura Wilson by David Chalmers 250pxWLaura Wilson - worked with the Zegerman lab

Born in Belfast, Laura is based in London. She is interested in how history is carried and evolved through everyday materials, trades and craftsmanship. She works with specialists to develop sculptural and performative works that amplify the relationship between materiality, memory and tacit knowledge.

Wilson’s interdisciplinary and research-based works have been exhibited widely including at SPACE, London; V&A, London; Guest Projects, London and with Invisible Dust and the Humber Museums Partnership for Hull 2017 City of Culture (2017); RIBA, London; Site Gallery, Sheffield; and SPACE, London (2016); Whitstable Biennial (2014); Camden Arts Centre, London and Turner Contemporary, Margate (2013); and W139, Amsterdam and De Warande, Turnhout, Belgium (2012).

She is a Syllabus II artist (2016/17) and was UK Associate Artist in residence at Delfina Foundation, London in 2016; and the recipient of the Winston Churchill Memorial Travel Fellowship in 2011.   (Photo credit: David Chalmers.)


David Blandy 250pxWDavid Blandy - worked with the Livesey lab

Born in 1976, David lives and works in Brighton & London.

He has established his terrain through a series of investigations into the cultural forces that inform and influence him, in recent works examining human consciousness within the digital world. His works slip between performance and video, reality and construct, using references sampled from the wide, disparate sources that provide his (and our own) individualist sense of self.

Recent awards: 2015: “Workweek Prize", David Blandy and A---Z for the installation 16-Bit at Four Quarters, London; 2014: Arts Council England Award for “Biters: Larry Achiampong & David Blandy”; 2010: Winner of “The Times/The South Bank Show Breakthrough Award”, Nominated as the representative for the Visual Arts; 2009: Daiwa Award for travel to research “Child of the Atom” in Hiroshima, Japan.

1995-98, Chelsea College of Art BA (Hons) Sculpture; 2001-03, Slade School of Art MA in Fine Art Media.

He is represented by Seventeen Gallery, London. Films are distributed by LUX, London.


Rachel Pimm by Seraphina Neville 250pxWRachel Pimm - worked with the Miska lab

Rachel was born in Harare in 1984 and now lives in London. She works in sculpture, video, text and performance to make work that explores environments and their materialities, histories and politics often from the point of view of non-human agents such as plants, minerals, worms, water, gravity or rubber.

Solo Shows include Resistant Materials, Hales Gallery, London (2017) Jerwood Space, London (2016) and Natural Selection, Zabludowicz Collection (2014). Pimm’s work has been included in recent programmes including ANDOR, Tenderpixel, Chisenhale Gallery, Royal Academy (Dazed Magazine Energing Artist award 2015), and Serpentine Gallery (all London 2014-2016). Recent Residencies include Rabbit Island, Michigan, USA (2017), Hospitalfield, Arbroath, Scotland (2016), and Joya Arte E Ecologia, Spain (2013).

She has a BA in Fine Art 4D from Central Saint Martins (2006) and an MFA Fine Art from Goldsmiths (2013), was a founder of London project space Auto Italia and currently lectures in Fine Art at Camberwell College of Art, UAL and Arts University Bournemouth. Recent press includes Artforum (Resistant materials, Sywia Serafinowicz) Frieze Magazine (Art and Life, Ellen Mara De Wachter), Art Monthly (Feature, Chris Fite-Wassilak, Art and the Chuthulucene, Jamie Sutcliffe). (Photo credit: Seraphina Neville.)