Science Art

We are privileged to have a world renowned science art research gallery within our building. Curated from 2014-2018 by Sarah Cook before her promotion to a professorship at the University of Glasgow, LifeSpace has won international acclaim. Its mission is to foster long term collaborations between artists and scientists. So far, it has shown work by Mat Fleming, Heather Dewey-Hagborg, Kate & Helen Storey and many others. It enables an exciting opportunity for interdisciplinary interactions. We are keen for people in Dundee and beyond to get involved as its programme develops.

WCAIR has been busy in this area since its launch. In partnership with NEoN Festival, we have co-commissioned new piece of digital art, Parasiteseeing. We have also collaborated with the Dundee Print Collective to create Translations, combining print and perspex, artist and researcher.

We’re planning future shows, residencies and more, because we want to have new ways of celebrating our work. If you’re an artist and would like to work with us or discuss a visit, let us know.

Read on to find out more about what we’re up to.

artist impression of the DDU malaria pre-clinical candidate
Scott Hudson introduces Translations
Scott Hudson from Dundee Print Collective introduces Translations

Translations: from laboratory to print studio

We’ve joined forces with the Dundee Print Collective to explore what the differences are between scientists and artists. In this colourful, sculptural exhibition, we’ve worked together to add new dimension to what we do.

The exhibition will be in LifeSpace in early 2020. Find out more about how the exhibition came to be and what the pieces are here.

Prof. Fairlamb enjoys the Unleished newspaper
Image copyright Erika Stevenson


This is our first co-commission with NEoN Digital Arts Festival. We unleashed artists Jen Southern and Rod Dillon to create a travel blog with a difference. Parasiteseeing is the Leishmaniasis parasite’s very own journal. Running across Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and more, it follows the parasite across the world, across time and across the lab. Links to all of the channels can be found at the Parasiteseeing website. We’ve recently scaled the work up into a large-scale exhibition in LifeSpace gallery too.

We’re also planning a summer programme, inspired by the work. Find out more on our projects page…

A TV screen announcing you are in the LifeSpace gallery at the School of Life Sciences

LifeSpace gallery

We’re working away, planning an exhibition for LifeSpace for early 2019. They have their own website and Twitter, so keep an eye for future updates.

ISEA Durban

In partnership with CIDRI Africa, we presented a workshop at the International Symposium on Electronic Arts in Durban. This explored how art and science can work together, as well as how two Wellcome Centres can collaborate across continents.

The decorative panels on the outside of the Discovery centre, School of Life Sciences

Scales of Life

The Discovery Centre for Translational and Innovative Research (CTIR or Discovery Centre), which hosts some of the labs and offices of WCAIR, is adorned with an artwork entitled ‘Scales of Life’ that depicts both the scientific basis of life and the significant research into life science undertaken within its walls.

An image from each of the four physical scales at which our life scientists work – Molecular, Organellar, Cellular and Tissue – is represented on custom-made anodised aluminium panels. Scientific research at all four scales provides both basic understanding and informs the
treatment of many diseases.

Professor Elaine Shemilt collaborated with Regius Professor Sir Michael Ferguson and architect Jo White to create the 16 columns of large metal cladding panels on three facades of the building incorporating her artistic abstractions which represent the four key scales of life: Molecular, Organellar, Cellular and Tissue.

Read more about this project.

Future Projects

We will be launching future commissions and residencies over the coming years. If you are interested in visiting us, or finding out more about what we do, please do get in touch.