Deadly viruses come to life in breathtaking pieces of art


Invisible killers are brought to life by instillation artist Luke Jerram. He created it with the help of virologists from the University of Bristol, and glassblowers Kim George, Brian Jones, and Norman Veitch. Seeing these microscopic diseases on such a grand scale is quite terrifying while absolutely mesmerizing.

Jerram's work tackles the common misconception of what viruses truly look like and how that affects us.

His website has the following statement about his 'Glass Microbiology' pieces: "His transparent and colorless glassworks consider how the artificial coloring of scientific microbiological imagery, affects our understanding of these phenomena. See these examples of HIV imagery. If some images are colored for scientific purposes, and others altered simply for aesthetic reasons, how can a viewer tell the difference? How many people believe viruses are brightly colored? Are there any color conventions and what kind of 'presence' do pseudocolored images have that 'naturally' colored specimens don't? How does the choice of different colors affect their reception?"

See the intricate pieces below:

Each virus is intricate yet delicate, while the translucent glass is a reminder that even as a work of art these illnesses are not something easily seen and will always be lurking just out of sight.

Not only are his pieces featured in museum collections across the globe, including the Met in NYC and The Museum of Glass in Shanghai; photos of his pieces are now featured in medical journals and textbooks as well as thought to be a very useful representation of virology.

See more of his work here.