This artwork is fundamentally about making, and being able to make ourselves and the potential impact of innovation on personal identity.
It is a living process of growth which frames delicate skin cell portraits of my daughters, whilst also framing the complex relationships and scientific possibilities in the world we live in. It is also very much about nurture and protection. Through our collaboration, we have developed a system whereby the process is controlled in a new way, which does not require expensive biomedical equipment.
This means the process can be reproduced in a ‘DIY’ set-up. Professor Hunt is convinced this, together with the process of lifting and preserving the 3D forms, is a patentable process that will revolutionise facial reconstruction. The artwork is the installation of the living and preserved. These fragile, transparent portraits will be exhibited alongside 3-dimensional printed faces.
We are not only growing these skin portraits, but also the audience as artworks. Audience member’s own faces will become part of this growing artwork as it moves around the world. Their portraits will be created using 3D face scanning technology to 3D print their unique, scientifically accurate portrait, part of the developing work – growing a visual, consensual databank.