Fragile Microbiomes at Thackray Museum of Medicine

Maja Lorkowska, Exhibitions Editor
The Plague Dress - Fragile Microbiomes - Thackray Museum of Medicine
Jo Ritchie (Chapter 81)

Fragile Microbiomes at Thackray Museum of Medicine, Leeds Until 23 June 2024 Tickets from £8.95 — Book now

You can always encounter strange and wonderful exhibits at the Thackray Museum of Medicine in Leeds, but this time you should get ready for something really special. Bio artist Anna Dumitriu’s exhibition Fragile Microbiomes offers incredible artworks and new perspectives to encounter. 

The Museum describes it as their “most innovative exhibition” – Fragile Microbiomes features installations made using bacteria, DNA, altered vintage objects, 3D printing, textiles, video and digital technologies. 

Fragile Microbiomes exhibition - Thackray Museum of Medicine
Jo Ritchie (Chapter 81)

Dumitriu is an internationally renowned artist who has held shows at some of the biggest galleries in the world. Her signature works stem from a unique combination of art and science and while she works across many mediums, her work is often rooted in textiles. Conceptually, the artist’s oeuvre is underpinned by the notion of interconnectedness and the rejection of divides between that which is natural and human. Her works represent a desire to work with organisms such as bacteria, that she chooses as part of her process.

Textile works are prominent at Fragile Microbiomes too, with The Plague Dress (2024) presented as the centrepiece and an undeniable highlight of the show. The garment is stuffed with lavender which pokes out of the top and is also what the dress rests on. The aromatic herb was used during the Great Plague of London to cover the smell of infection and to ward off disease. The silk dress itself is a reference to the Silk Road, which played a key role in the spread of disease, while the embroideries are saturated with the DNA of Yersinia pestis (plague) bacteria. Don’t worry, the DNA has been extracted and therefore made harmless, but the symbolism of the action remains. 

aDNA-Fragile Microbiomes exhibition - Thackray Museum of Medicine
Jo Ritchie (Chapter 81)

Viewers will also encounter other works such as Bacterial Baptism (2022) – a vintage christening gown that explores the idea that newborn babies come into contact with bacteria during birth which has been described as a “bacterial baptism”, and looks closer at how the microbiomes of babies develop, with a focus on the bacterium Clostridioides difficile.

Microbe Mouth is quite literally a teeth necklace – an adornment made from handmade porcelain teeth covered in glazes made from oral bacteria.

By interacting with these and other works, you’ll be able to see the extent of the artist’s commitment to the field of BioArt and the fascinating interactions between fine art and biological procedures to create both beautiful and multi-layered objects. You will not forget Fragile Microbiomes in a hurry! The Museum is very family friendly too so you can bring younger visitors to enjoy this exciting exhibit. 

Fragile Microbiomes at Thackray Museum of Medicine, Leeds Until 23 June 2024 Tickets from £8.95 Book now

Performances

Date
Time
Session Features
19 February 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
20 February 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
21 February 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
22 February 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
23 February 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
24 February 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
25 February 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
26 February 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
27 February 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
28 February 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
29 February 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
1 March 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
2 March 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
3 March 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
4 March 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
5 March 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
6 March 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
7 March 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
8 March 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
9 March 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
10 March 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
11 March 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
12 March 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
13 March 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
14 March 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
15 March 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
16 March 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
17 March 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
18 March 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
19 March 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
20 March 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
21 March 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
22 March 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
23 March 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
24 March 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
25 March 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
26 March 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
27 March 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
28 March 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
29 March 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
30 March 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
31 March 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
1 April 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
2 April 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
3 April 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
4 April 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
5 April 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
6 April 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
7 April 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
8 April 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
9 April 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
10 April 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
11 April 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
12 April 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
13 April 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
14 April 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
15 April 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
16 April 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
17 April 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
18 April 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
19 April 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
20 April 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
21 April 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
22 April 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
23 April 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
24 April 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
25 April 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
26 April 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
27 April 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
28 April 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
29 April 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
30 April 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
1 May 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
2 May 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
3 May 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
4 May 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
5 May 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
6 May 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
7 May 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
8 May 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
9 May 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
10 May 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
11 May 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
12 May 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
13 May 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
14 May 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
15 May 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
16 May 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
17 May 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
18 May 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
19 May 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
20 May 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
21 May 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
22 May 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
23 May 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
24 May 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
25 May 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
26 May 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
27 May 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
28 May 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
29 May 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
30 May 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
31 May 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
1 June 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
2 June 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
3 June 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
4 June 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
5 June 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
6 June 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
7 June 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
8 June 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
9 June 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
10 June 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
11 June 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
12 June 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
13 June 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
14 June 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
15 June 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
16 June 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
17 June 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
18 June 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
19 June 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
20 June 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
21 June 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
22 June 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm
23 June 2024
10:00am — 5:00pm

Always double check opening hours with the venue before making a special visit.

Where to go near Fragile Microbiomes at Thackray Museum of Medicine

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