Art of the Gut - residency at the Quadram Institute 2019

Art of the Gut is an ongoing collaboration with scientists, the public and local artists into research from the Quadram Institute, Norwich, exploring the world of gut bacteria and health

Norwich Science Festival 2019 hosted an Art of the Gut exhibition 

Thanks to Arts Council England and Norfolk County Council for enabling me to explore our most recently discovered organ, the microboime.


Art of the Gut explores the latest research into food, gut bacteria and health with scientists and the public. For the latest news and more detail about the events described below see social media posts and Blog, #artofthegut on Instagram and Twitter.  So far the following have happened...


- Science Art and Writing Trust workshops at Coleman Junior School with d/Deaf and hearing students and Quadram Scientists and a poet, June 2019.


- Workshops with families and Quadram Scientists at St Williams Way library, Norwich, during April/ May 2019.


- Workshops with the scientists in the stunning new Quadram building April/ June 2019. We tried various ways to capture their science and mix it up with making art. Initially I tried an idea-combining activity using my mini shadow theatre kits and old copies of the New Scientist and Sunday supplement magazines as well as prepared templates.  Norwich Health and Wellbeing Week saw scientists trying shadow theatre, making felt microbes and doodling on templates of abstracted villi.


The finale of this funding period was an exhibition at the Forum, with Norwich Science Festival, 19th - 26th October 2019. This event was attended by approximately 9000 people. The BBC Foyer became a retreat from the hectic festival. Here you could make a rubbing, using any of eight images of body organs, handmade by sculptor Chris Jackson. In response to the latest health research you could then hang your 'hopes of health' onto the wire 'hairs' of a giant microbe. This two metre high, free standing alcove was filled with beautiful preserved translucent vegetable slices and a glowing DNA 'ring light' (made by Draigo). It was constructed out of papier mache by set maker Richard Matthews. 


Two days of art-science workshops took place with Quadram Institute scientists, myself, and artists Rach Anstey-Sanders and Chris Jackson. The public made felt microbes and rubbings as 'wishes for wellness', while learning about the links between health and microbial science. I listed the event with The Big Draw, who featured it in their half-term highlights.

The second workshop day reached a different group of people who were shopping in the Castle Quarter, it was jointly hosted by the Quadram Institute, The Earlham Institute and the John Innes Centre.

British Sign Language interpreters were provided with my funding for both events. The whole project was supported with public funding by Arts Council England and Norfolk County Council.


These activities are running again on the 6th Nov 2019 to celebrate 30 years of research in Norfolk with 500 people with Rheumatoid Arthritis, funded by Versus Arthritis.

Thanks to the following funders