Artist's sculptures inspired by wondrous world

17/10/2022 | 2 mins

Sculptural works inspired by the magical world of plant and animal cellular structures, as seen down the lens of a microscope, have been unveiled at The University of Western Australia on Convocation Day.

Nestled among trees in Prescott Court opposite the Barry J Marshall Library, the three works entitled Cellular Curios are by artist and landscape architect Kate Cullity, who graduated from UWA with a Bachelor of Science, majoring in botany.

Cellular Curios sculpturesImage: Kate Cullity's sculptures Cellular Curios.

“My intrigue with the informative, wondrous and mysterious world as viewed down a microscope started when I studied biological sciences at UWA," Ms Cullity said.

“It has morphed into a foundational source of inspiration in the creation of artworks – a coalescence of art and science. “ 

To inform the artwork, Ms Cullity liaised with scientists from UWA including Dr Marion Cambridge, from the School of Biological Sciences and Oceans Institute; Emeritus Professor George Yeoh, from the Medical School; and Associate Professor Peta Clode, from the Centre for Microscopy, Characterisation and Analysis.

Dr Cambridge researches sea grass including the streamlined form of Posidonia seeds that have adapted to reduce the hydrodynamic forces of ocean waves, enabling the seeds to stabilise until root growth firmly anchors the seedling into the seabed. 

Professor Yeoh’s research relates to the development of human stem cells from which all other cells with specialised functions are generated. 

Associate Professor Peta Clode provided electron microscope images of cells that line the internal chambers of sponges and filter sea water.  Research into these cells and sponges was conducted by Adjunct Research Fellow Christine Schoenberg, from the Oceans Graduate School.  

The sculptural forms vary in size from about 2.3 to 1.2m in height and are composed of a series of laser cut plates constructed from 5mm corten steel and mild steel pins. 

Cellular Curios was proposed and largely funded by the UWA Friends of the Grounds and supported by UWA staff from Development and Alumni Relations and Campus Management, with the unveiling of the sculptural forms organised to be part of this year's Convocation Day. 


Media references

Annelies Gartner (UWA Media & PR Manager) 6488 3229

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