MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology Artist-in-Residence

Completed: 2016 Client: Cambridge Medi Park LTD (CML) Artist: 30 bird, public works
Location: Cambridge
Services: Commission, Community Engagement, Healthcare, Research

Live performance company 30 Bird and art/architecture company Publicworks were year-long Artists-in-Residence at the Medical Research Council’s Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) at the Cambridge Biomedical Campus (CBC). Their task was to explore and present the LMB’s work in surprising ways to diverse audiences.

The artists spent many hours in the labs with scientists, researchers, cleaners and admin staff, listening, challenging, annoying and laughing. Within the LMB’s vast newly built ‘cathedral’ space for basic science research, they built a house and made it into a home in which they invited staff out of the labs to dine with them, talk about their work and its relationship to everyday life and home.

The resulting project was ‘Home in the Service of Science‘. What followed was a year of designing, building, music, performances, afternoons teas, lunches and dinners, workshops, debates, poster making, filmmaking, walks, tours and surprises.

Home in the Service of Science culminated in October 2016 with a series of public performance events with a cast of scientists, actors, musicians and dancers. They performed experimental, immersive events for diverse audiences to explore the LMB’s  vital work and reflect on its relationship to everyday life.

The project forms part of the on-going Public Art Programme at the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, strategised and delivered by Futurecity on behalf of developers Liberty Property Trust and Countryside, and delivered in collaboration with many campus stakeholders including Cambridge University Hospital NHS Trust.

the artist

30 Bird and Public Works

30Bird is an award-winning performance company based in Cambridge. PublicWorks are an art and architecture company based in London working with communities and public space.

We’ve seen the possibilities of how you can bring performance arts into communicating science to the public, and its been absolutely fascinating.

Sean Munro, Head of Cell Biology Division, LMB


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