Many artists have worked with Nowgen to explore themes associated with genetic medicine. Some of their artwork is on display in the Nowgen Centre. We have a developed a strong partnership with Lime (arts in health charity at Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust). They have particularly supported Nowgen on:
- Faces of Manchester
- Our Kid
- Looking Forward
Tree of Life
The Passing Down project was conceived by Helen Clare to explore how stories and ideas passed down in families and how people made sense of inheritance in their own lives.
During Autumn 2008 we worked with a number of community and writing groups, schools and events. People’s ideas were collated and organised by poet Helen Clare and the textile artwork was designed and made by artist Lynn Setterington.
The project was run in collaboration with Manchester Literature Festival and Manchester Science Festival and was funded by Arts Council England.
We would like to thank the following organisations who hosted creative writing workshops and discussion sessions: Cultureword, The Monday Night Group, Full Circle Arts, MoSI, Cartwheel Arts, Greater Manchester Science Network, The BA Festival of Science, Salford Libraries.
Thanks are also due to the following 2nd Year Embroidery students at MMU, Sophie Domintz, Claire Ford, Ashley Millward, Sarah Fletcher, Sophie Aris, Georgia Bosson, Helen Harkawenko, Leanne Richards, Gemma Scott, Jenny Marsden, Katie Smith, Grace Mc Cavery, Lizzie Smith, Jenny Kenworthy, Sam Lyall, to tutor Isabel Wright for their sewing skills and to Vicky Wild and Jill Boyes for technical support.
We are also grateful to Marion McAllister and Kate Mathieson of Nowgen and Jeanette Edwards of Manchester University who so generously shared their understanding of inheritance and kinship with us.
Jessica’s inspiration for this piece came from evolution, genetic transfer and the interaction between different species. She was keen to explore these themes as 2009 is the bicentenary of Charles Darwin’s birth.
Jessica explains that:
“The animals can be understood to symbolise the prey and the predator – the battle for survival between the species. Each rabbit and fox is locked in its own private battle, but all the animals are in turn trapped within the coloured pools of glaze, which directly references a scientific diagram representing the way genes flow through a population.”
This piece was made in 2009, as part of Jessica’s time as artist in residence at the Chinese Arts Centre in Manchester.