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The Art Of Biochemistry

Briony Marshall’s sculptures attempt to make sense of what science means for humans

by Alex Scott
January 13, 2014 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 92, Issue 2


Animation: Ty Finocchiaro / C&EN


In this slideshow, C&EN displays photographs of the work of sculptor Briony Marshall and provides her perspectives on the role of science in her artistic process. The photos are of sculptures that were shown at Gallery Pangolin in London last summer in an exhibition called “Life Forming.” Marshall, who trained as a biochemist, was the 2012 Sculptor in Residence at the Pangolin.

Based in London, Marshall studied biochemistry at the University of Oxford. She chose not to pursue a career in science because she thought that research could be a slow and lonely process. She is, however, still fascinated by science, and much of her art is inspired by biochemistry and the form of DNA. As an artist she enjoys spending time researching a wide variety of fields, without having to select just one specialty.

Looking ahead, Marshall has already picked out a scientific theme that she might next incorporate into her art. “I am not sure yet, and I hesitate slightly because it is such an in-fashion area, but I am fascinated by the amazing developments in neuroscience, and in particular how I might understand the neuroscience of the creative process from a very personal point of view,” she says. “The reading I’ve done in the area has already helped me develop techniques for getting in the zone and overcoming creative blocks or just the creative inertia that happens almost every Monday morning. As usual, though, I have no idea how this might translate into sculptures.”


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