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 Digital Arts Festival, we have co-commissioned 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.

LifeSpace is red when viewed from the sand fly gut
Two pictures of poet Giovanna MacKenna

Poet in Residence

For our latest collaboration between the world of science and the arts, we’re taking a new step – into poetry.

We’re delighted to be working with Giovanna MacKenna as our new poet-in-residence. Giovanna was an actor, and a journalist, and is now a poet and creative facilitator. Her poem Silenced by My Mother’s Tongue has recently been included in the Scottish Poetry Library’s Best Scottish Poems list.

Read on to discover more about the project…

Bonding: electrons are FREE

What happens when an artist and a scientist meet through the time of Covid? Two radical spirits bond to explore the common orbital of art and science from a unique perspective.

From disembodied conversation to full scale occupation, artist Emily Fong, scientist Alan Fairlamb and researchers from the Centre formed a series of bonds through dialogue and play. Engaging with the Wellcome Trust Building as body, the pair underwent a unique process of manipulating the environment to suit their needs. Not unlike parasites, they wished no harm, but desired to come to an accommodation with their host.

We invite you, as a parasite, to occupy this body and the habitats created within.

Discover more about our exhibition here…

A section of blank wall with grey skies

Mural Studies

What Binds Us

We’ve teamed up with our friends the Stobswell Forum and Open Close Dundee to create a new mural. It’s larger-than-life in several ways. Firstly, it takes microscopic crystals, molecules, and even atoms, and blows them up to a visual scale.

Perhaps more importantly, that visual scale is 7-storeys tall! How did we take a blank, boring wall on a care home and turn it into a vibrant, joyful piece of science art? And, more importantly, what does the piece look like?

Read the story of our Stobswell mural…

An artistic exhibit in Arthurstone Library

Translations: on Tour

As the world comes out of deep freeze following Covid, we’re able to get our art on tour. Our Translations exhibition, made in partnership with Dundee Print Collective, has made an exciting move across Dundee. It has a beautiful new home with our community friends in Stobswell…

Find out more about Translations: on Tour…


Artist Emily Fong demonstrates an unusual banana phone

Remote residency: Emily Fong

In a brand new adventure, we’re working with artist Emily Fong, as an artist-not-in-residence. She’ll be exploring how the world of science, and our scientists, are living and working through the age of Covid-19. A highly experimental piece of work, we’ll be fascinated to see the results as they develop.


Find out more about Emily and her work…

Scott Hudson 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 for the first half of 2020. If you’d like to discover about the pieces and how the exhibition came to be, good news – we have a handy guide.

Find out more about the Translations exhibition...

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 scaled the work up into a large-scale exhibition in LifeSpace gallery too, before sending it on to Dundee Science Centre. We’re exploring its next onward flight now.

Find out more about Para-site-seeing…

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

LifeSpace gallery

LifeSpace is a collaboration between Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design and the School of Life Sciences. It has its own website and Twitter, so keep an eye for 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), which hosts some of our labs and offices, is adorned with an artwork entitled ‘Scales of Life’. An image from each of the four physical scales at which we work – molecular, organellar, cellular and tissue – is represented on custom-made anodised aluminium panels.

Professor Elaine Shemilt collaborated with Regius Professor Sir Michael Ferguson and architect Jo White to create the 16 columns on three facades of the building incorporating her artistic abstractions.

Find out more…

Passport page for Leishmania Para-site-seeing art-science exhibition

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.