‘Contagion’ at School of Tropical Medicine – Opens Friday

smallpox-tropmed.jpg‘Contagion’ By BARBARA JONES

29th September – 24 November 2006
Liverpool Biennial 2006

Liverpool Biennial will witness an extraordinary art exhibition by an artist whose subject matter draws its inspiration from disease. Artist Barbara Jones will be presenting ‘Contagion’, a site specific installation which uses as a starting point research undertaken at the world famous School of Tropical Medicine, Liverpool. At the school pioneering work has been developed into a search for cures for such diseases as Malaria, T.B. and A.I.D.S which in turn has become the platform for Barbara to develop a visual response.

Barbara, through beauty of composition and texture provokes our perceptions of what we should consider as pleasing to the eye. She presents us with subtle and alluring images then entices you into the hidden taboo of disease. When confronted by the very cell formations of killer diseases do we see the work of art in a different light? Can we say it is beautiful? Does it affect our judgment?

Her work is a mixture of paint on canvas and actual modified medical protection clothing. The painted works are eloquently executed white on white compositions which slowly reveal the hidden menace of disease upon their surface. In contrast the printed works are filled with movement and depth which demonstrate activity of cell mutation.

The Liverpool based artist uses electronic microscope images of various bacteria and viruses to inspire her, this then becomes the visual sketchbook which leads her to create works that are unique and beautiful.

Barbara is no stranger to public art and disease. In 2003 Barbara dispersed 1000 diseased printed origami peace cranes from the disused tower of St Luke’s Church in Liverpool and for the 2004 Biennial presented ‘The Smallpox Room’ in a display window at Lewis’s department store, Liverpool.

Barbara says “I consider that the subject of disease is part of a current debate within modern society as demonstrated by the proliferation of media coverage on a daily basis