Dr Ionat Zurr

Pioneering artist and researcher in bioart

Now more than ever, it is vital for more artists to have access to the life sciences laboratories so they are able to learn, understand, critically engage and comment on the future of life and the living. Here at UWA we are fortunate to give this opportunity to the Fine Arts students.Dr Ionat Zurr

Ionat Zurr is an artist researcher who is considered to be a pioneer and a leader in the field of Biological Arts (or bioart). She is Chair of the Fine Arts Discipline at the School of Design and academic coordinator of SymbioticA at the School of Human Sciences at UWA.

Ionat’s artist studio is the laboratory where she works with living cells as an artistic palette. Ionat critically explores the aesthetic, ethical and cultural implications of using life as a technology and its effects on bodies and ecologies. Her collaborative work includes a tiny jacket grown from mouse embryonic stem cells as an ironic sustainable solution; a tissue-engineered frog steak and a six-tonne compost pile used as a heating mechanism for growing cells in a custom-made incubator.

Ionat has been a visiting scholar at The Centre of Arts and Art History at Stanford University and Research Fellow at The Tissue Engineering & Organ Fabrication Laboratory, Harvard Medical School.

Her work has been exhibited at museums such as Pompidou Centre in Paris, MoMA NY, Mori Art Museum Japan, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Ars Electronica Austria, National Art Museum of China.

Ionat’s ideas and projects reach beyond the confines of art; her work is often cited as an inspiration to diverse areas such as new materials, textiles, design, architecture, ethics, fiction, and food.

She is currently working on the Tissue Culture and Art Project.


  • BA (Hons)
  • PhD
Research Repository




Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries

  • Exhibition at European Center for Art, Upper Bavaria, and guest artists at CERN, European Organization for Nuclear Research


UWA Research Collaboration Award

  • Crossing kingdoms and disciplines: biological and cultural articulations and understandings of synthetic mammalian/yeast fusion cells


Discovery Early Career Research Award – Australian Research Council

  • Muscle Actuators as Evocative Objects

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Ionat teaches in the following courses:

Graphic of group of people 

Contact Dr Ionat Zurr