International artist Luke Jerram creates coronavirus (COVID-19) glass sculpture in tribute to global effort to combat pandemic
Internationally-renowned artist Luke Jerram has created a coronavirus – COVID-19 – glass sculpture in tribute to the huge global scientific and medical effort to combat the pandemic. Made in glass, at 23cm in diameter, it is 1 million times larger than the actual virus.
It was commissioned 5 weeks ago by a university in America to reflect its current and future research and learning in health, the environment and intelligent systems, and its focus on solving global challenges.
Luke says: “Helping to communicate the form of the virus to the public, the artwork has been created as an alternative representation to the artificially coloured imagery received through the media. In fact, viruses have no colour as they are smaller than the wavelength of light.”
“This artwork is a tribute to the scientists and medical teams who are working collaboratively across the world to try to slow the spread of the virus. It is vital we attempt to slow the spread of coronavirus by working together globally, so our health services can manage this pandemic.”
Made through a process of scientific glassblowing, the coronavirus model is based on the latest scientific understanding and diagrams of the virus.
Profits from this glass model are going to Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) who will be assisting developing countries deal with the fallout of the coronavirus epidemic.
This new model is just the latest in Luke’s Glass Microbiology series of virus sculptures. Luke and his glassblowing team have, in the past, made other sculptures of viruses from swine flu and Ebola to smallpox and HIV. Respected in the scientific community, the glass sculptures have featured in The Lancet, Scientific American, British Medical Journal (BMJ) and on the front cover of Nature Magazine.
The Glass Microbiology sculptures are in museum collections around the world, including the Metropolitan Museum, NYC; Wellcome Collection, London and the Museum of Glass, Shanghai.