Description of impact

The aim of the project was to use atomic force microscope images, produced at the University of Portsmouth, as an inspiration for artists to make a number of creative responses in various media. Micrographs of human hair and DNA were the main focus since these familiar materials offer a wealth of structural complexity and also elicit emotive responses due to their contribution of ‘self’. The artworks produced therefore were not expected to necessarily resemble the original images. Dr James R Smith, five artists and members of Thornhill Art Group made up the project Team.

Who is affected

Local artists, including Thornhill Art Group, Southampton
Scientists involved in the project
Visitors to the 3-day exhibition at St Luke's Church, Hedge End, Southampton (28/02/14-02/03/14)
Visitors to the website (2785 visitors by 03/03/18)


Around 200 artworks were created that were first exhibited at St Luke's Church. This exhibition was opened by the Archdeacon of Bournemouth Revd Peter Roach, with the Royal Microscopical Society. Between 280 and 300 people came to view the exhibits over the 3 day period. Artworks were then made available online on a dedicated website, which is still maintained.
Impact statusClosed
Impact date28 Feb 20142 Mar 2014
Category of impactCultural & Creative Impacts
Impact levelBenefit (delivered impact)