Garvan at Vivid 2021

The Artwork

DNA: Illuminating You is an interactive light sculpture that mimics real biological processes that occur in each of us throughout our lifetimes.

Concept drawing 1
Concept drawing 2

View DNA: Illuminating You on the Vivid 2021 website

DNA: Illuminating You is a symphony for the senses and a harmonious marriage between the artistic and scientific. It’s an eye-catching glimpse into the work researchers at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research do every day – identifying differences in DNA and understanding their effects on molecular activity in the cell to better diagnose, predict, treat and prevent disease.

The sculpture highlights some of the key molecular players involved in the biological dance that occurs on and around the DNA in our cells and that can change in response to prompts from within and beyond our bodies.

Concept render

A suspended DNA thread weaves around and through other molecules that orchestrate its activity. The complex interplay between DNA and other molecular players in our cells is one of the reasons why identifying causes and cures for disease can be so challenging. 

Visitors interact with the sculpture by moving around and beneath the sculpture. They can speed up how quickly the DNA is revealed and enhance the activity of the molecules in the display.  Each interaction builds upon the last and when certain points in the DNA are reached, the large suspended molecules come to life through vivid displays of colour.