Communicating Bacteria Dress and MRSA Quilt by Anna Dumitriu.
Dumitriu on her work:
Public understanding of science, in particular biomedical science and the ethics of emerging technologies is so important, particularly in terms of microbiology and I feel a responsibility to share the knowledge I acquire with the wider public. I feel strongly that anyone can understand anything if it’s explained in the right way for them. Many businesses play on public fears in order to add value to their products, and newspapers and TV shows fill our minds with images of bacteria as armies of tiny monsters ready to attack unless we buy some new hand wash or detergent. The press and its desire to sell newspapers can even sway political opinion at the highest level. I recently created indigo blue coloured patchwork quilt stained with MRSA bacteria grown on chromogenic agar and patterned with clinical antibiotics and other tools in the research and treatment of this disease. Each square on the quilt can be explained in terms of the research work that went into making it. The public are fascinated to come face to face with the famous ‘superbug’, but in the case of my work the piece has been sterilised (autoclaved) so it is no longer dangerous. Quilts are historically used as story telling devices and this piece tells the story of MRSA and facilitates dialogues.
She will be participating in the Cambridge Science Xchange on October 23.