Exodus, 2015

Cellular photographic work

Exodus is a photographic exhibition of cells grown from human skin. Cell biologists have discovered how to transform normal skin cells into embryonic stem cells. I grew these transformed cells in a petri dish and fed them a liquid diet that allowed them to become neural stem cells, and then brain cells like neurons and astrocytes. Using fluorescent antibodies, I stained the cells to allow visualization of their internal skeletons.

Exodus explores the rise of science as religion. Science and religion seek knowledge of the universe by different means: reason and empiricism, versus revelation and faith. The central message of the book of Exodus is salvation and redemption. Modern societies have vested scientific enterprises like regenerative medicine with these same values. Hope for salvation from disease and ageing and the pursuit of the everlasting beg deliverance by scientific discovery. The re-birth, scattering and creation of novel colonies by these transformed cells parallels the story of Exodus with the establishment of a new world remade by the hand of man.

Special thanks to Dr. Derek van der Kooy, Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research, University of Toronto

Using Format