Art & Science: Another Way of Looking

An exhibition by Dr Anke Brüning-Richardson and Deborah Gardner Foyer Gallery, School of Design, University of Leeds. Open daily Monday to Friday 9.00 to 5.00

Anke and Deborah met and collaborated through Soapbox: Science & Art Platform (Zoological Society of London and University of Leeds).  They found, during discussions surrounding their research areas, they share interests in ideas of cellularity, multiplicity, propagation, and migration, as well as a consideration of correlations between the micro and the macro, from the cosmos to the interior body.  


In their first public engagement event during Leeds Light Night 2017, Deborah made sculptures with neon helium balloons as a means of testing to what extent art works can operate as working tools, which may cultivate insight into Anke’s discussion with members of the public on her most recent research activity and ideas of nuclei and migration. 


Anke is investigating new ways to diagnose and treat aggressive cancers, such as brain tumours. She is actively involved in public engagement and outreach work; where she often encounters a reluctance on her audience’s part to fully engage, as cancer is still often seen as a death sentence. Colourful images of cancer cells, created as part of her research, are beautiful and perceived as such when the viewer does not know what he/she is looking at, enabling a dialogue and taking away associated fears and misconceptions.


Deborah’s work is inspired by the growth patterns of physical phenomena and, most recently, by her microscope observations of botanic solutions at Leeds Discovery Centre and Anke’s images of cells shared in collaborative activity. Deborah’s sculptures explore ideas of accumulation and multiplicity, where the making is improvisatory.  The conceptualisation and articulation of sculpture is driven through tactile approaches to material and construction. The sculptures test how static structures may be imbued with a sense of speed, mutation and development.


Deborah Gardner is a Lecturer in Art and Design, in the School of Design University of Leeds and is a member of the Royal Society of Sculptors as well as a member of the Land2 research network.

Anke Brüning-Richardson is a cancer researcher at Huddersfield University.