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Genome art in a Swedish castle

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Genomic art will decorate the walls of Uppsala Castle in Sweden during an upcoming conference on ‘biobanks.’ Biobanks are collections of human biological material, such as DNA, that may be used for research purposes.

The paintings, by Canadian artist Jacques Deshaies, are intended to stimulate discussion at the meeting between sessions, says Mats G. Hansson, who organized the conference and exhibition. He directs a research project on ethical and legal aspects of biobanking and genome research at Uppsala University, Sweden.

Deshaies 02--Alpha/Beta Proteome 2 layers, 152 x 182 cm, acrylic on canvas.

Hansson met the Canadian artist serendipitously last summer while touring on his bicycle. "I was amused and had a long conversation with the artist about the possibility to illustrate our conference," says Hansson, adding that the two men agreed to collaborate.

For the conference, Deshaies created a new painting. "He made some suggestions and we discussed back and forth until everyone was pleased," says Hansson. The result, DNA Family with cells, is featured on the conference poster.

Deshaies 02--DNA cave painting #21, 30 x 25 cm, acrylic on canvas.
Deshaies 97--Stem cell green-blue, 80 x 100 cm, acrylic on canvas.
Deshaies 00--Transgenic corn, 76 x 150 cm, acrylic on canvas.

These paintings are from the exhibition "The Human Genome Odyssey," which runs March 10 and 11, 2003, in conjunction with the "Biobanks as Health Resources" meeting. After the conference, the paintings will be shown at Uppsala's Museum Gustavianum through March 30, 2003.

Current projects and more artwork can be viewed at Jacques Deshaies' Web site here.

See related GNN article
»Painting proteins: Artworks by Jacques Deshaies

Birgit Reinert

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