The sculptures of HIV were made as objects to hold, to contemplate the impact of the disease upon humanity.
The artworks were also created to consider how the use of artificially added colour in medical imaging affects how the imagery is read and interpreted by the public. See these examples of scientific HIV imagery. How does the choice of different colours affect their reception? In response to these questions, Jerram has created a series of transparent, three dimensional sculptures of HIV. Ironically in 2007 photographer David Sayer won an award from the Institute of Medical Imaging for the artificially coloured image (above) he took of Jerram’s HIV sculpture. With thanks to the Wellcome Collection for use of the imagery.
A letter from a stranger received Sept ’09 about the HIV artworks……
I just saw a photo of your glass sculpture of HIV.
I can’t stop looking at it. Knowing that millions of those guys are in me, and will be a part of me for the rest of my life. Your sculpture, even as a photo, has made HIV much more real for me than any photo or illustration I’ve ever seen. It’s a very odd feeling seeing my enemy, and the eventual likely cause of my death, and finding it so beautiful.