Disease exists in three-dimensional space. Sculptures allow our depictions of pathology to inhabit the world as such. With metal and broken shards of glass, Jessica Beels brings disease to life. From the microscopic HPV virus to blood clots and galaxies of neurons, Beels crafts the symbolic works of art with an understanding of their scientific significance.
These works were designed specifically for an exhibit called Pulse: Art and Medicine, “a multi media investigation of medicine as an inspiration for art, and the inherent artistry involved in the medical sciences.”
What I love about Beels’ creations is that they embody all aspects of this mission. The multiplicity of medium, incorporating ordinary tools of art alongside the extraordinary. Understanding how medicine, the springy resilience of blood cells or the withering effects of Alzheimer’s on neurons, are influence these creations. And, at the same time, how this art reflects the natural and unnatural of the human body.
It is the thought and care behind these works that empowers them. Beels outlines the flow of her ideas, inviting the viewer to understand the decisions she made in shaping each creation. She clearly respected this feat of stepping into the world of science and drawing upon art to explore. Beels seems to devote herself to each of these works, allowing each component to bring its scientific merit into art.