University of Minnesota

One Such Universe

George Sherwood

George Sherwood (Born 1954, Bridgeport, CT)

One Such Universe, 2015

Stainless steel

5 ft. diameter

Location: Outside the Microbiology Building, east bank campus

My intention was to create a piece that would inspire and elevate people’s thinking about the beauty in the form and function of the microbe.

Rather than vilify, I wanted to celebrate the microbe and the physiology of microorganisms. The concept manifested itself as a stainless steel representation of an infected cell, with bacteria worked into its surface. I see the bacteria as beautiful and enigmatic, not just as an invasive agent.

I’m fascinated by the use of light at the frontiers of art, science, and technology to resolve the difficulties humanity faces. I wanted to convey that by distributing light within the sculpture and outward, to the outside world. The mirrors inside redirect light to activate different features and allow for new ways to see the cell.

When people engage with this sculpture, they’ll see a reflection of what’s going on in a microbe: its beauty, how it changes over time, and our ambition to understand its place in modern biology

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