‘Symbiosis’ is a collection of small, intricate sculptures created as part of the University of Leicester’s Brief Encounters project, 2018, for British Science Week.
Made from porcelain, glass and antique thread, this collection was created in collaboration with the University’s scientific glassblower Gayle Price. The sculptures were inspired by Gayle’s work in glass, while also telling of three micro-fungi studied at the University; penicillium, mycorrhizal fungi, and especially the yeasts that are used in genetics research
Like DNA, both glass and porcelain can be surprisingly long-lasting and yet also incredibly fragile. The thread is from Kathryn’s great-grandmother’s workbox, and was crocheted using inherited skills; another reference to the genetics research.
The name ‘Symbiosis’ comes from the three micro-fungi, as while learning about these fascinating forms of life Kathryn noticed that each has its own symbiotic relationships. Symbiosis also felt a perfect description of the collaboration with Gayle, and the ways in which the different materials work together.
Symbiosis was first exhibited in the Brief Encounters exhibition at Newarke Houses Museum, Leicester. It is one of nine artworks created by artists who were each paired with a scientist from the University of Leicester, for British Science Week 2018.