Strange shapes continuously dart across the image: circles, ellipses, and squares — sometimes colored, sometimes black and white. This video installation is clearly the work of a modern artist, someone who used a microscope instead of a real camera. It was all the brainchild of English artist Jo Berry who studied natural history illustration, graphic design and printmaking, and worked later as a researcher at Loughborough University. It was here that she developed an interest in digital design techniques for artistic "light painting" with the help of laser technology and computer software.
After various LED light installations, Jo Berry turned her attention to living cells. For her project "Hijacking Natural Systems" she joined forces with scientists from Nottingham University to study the reaction of human nerve and brain cells to the hormone Ghrelin which triggers the feeling of hunger. For this, the artist used Carl Zeiss laser scanning microscopes and software which she wielded to create stereo versions and 3D views of cells and to change the speed of recorded films. She then superimposed digital drawings on the individual images — a method that combines science and art.
"I was able to play with colors, experiment with copying and pasting, work on film sequences in time lapse or slow motion and look at the cells in 3D from different angles," she said regarding her project. The resulting short films, vinyl signs and light boxes have been exhibited in Derby and Nottingham.
October 5, 2011