Bluetongue disease is a non-contagious, insect-borne,viral disease of mainly sheep and less frequently cattle, goats, buffalo, deer and antelope. It is caused by the Bluetongue virus (BTV).
The artwork consists of a glass icosahedron held within a second icosahedron, which is then held inside a sphere of glass! Its one of the most complex artwork Luke and his team have created to date.
The artwork was commissioned in 2014 by The Pirbright Institute, a scientific research centre for viral diseases of livestock. The Pirbright Institute is an important centre for bluetongue epidemiology research in Europe. Institute researchers were the first to isolate bluetongue virus in a midge other than the African vector Culicoides imicola in 1979 and also to identify the risk that, with the expansion of C. imicola into Europe, the virus could establish itself in new vector species, drastically increasing its range. Institute researchers also first proposed that infected midges could be transported for long distances on wind currents, a mechanism which is now receiving renewed attention.