Wellcome Trust windows – featuring ‘Tools of the Trade’
The windows of Wellcome Trust HQ on Euston Road in London have long been used to exhibit works of art around the themes of science and discovery. ‘Tools of the Trade’ is the latest installation, created by artist Stuart Haygarth, who enjoys elevating the commonplace or discarded object into realms of the exquisite. In Tools of the Trade, Haygarth has transformed a selection of commonly-used plastic and glass laboratory equipment into vivid light installations. We took a closer look…
“My work revolves around everyday objects, collected in large quantities, categorised and presented in such a way that they are given new meaning” says Haygarth. “It is about banal and overlooked objects gaining new significance”.
Stacking over 2,500 petri dishes, Haygarth produced this wonderful light installation. A far cry from agar jelly and bacterial cultures in the lab.
“I was immediately drawn to the diversity of glass laboratory apparatus collected by Henry Wellcome during a visit I made to Wellcome Collection” says Haygarth. Who has created six eye-catching sculptures, which can currently be seen in the windows of the Wellcome Trust building on Euston Road.
The cylindrical glass vials are lined up regimentally to create an Art Deco styled chandelier.
“The items were chosen purely for their aesthetic quality, the form or shape taking prominence over their use” says Haygarth.
“Many of the glassware items have a rounded sensual shape created from crisp borosilicate glass, which hang or sit on clear acrylic shelving”.
Arranged according to the items’ profiles and shape these shelves reference the pristine and practical atmosphere of the science laboratory.
“These beautifully crafted objects are at the core of any scientific experiment and essential for testing any chemical idea where substances require distillation, filtration, separation or simply pouring.”
“When placed together and repeated, these items take on a new form, which imitates a molecular structure or organism” says Haygarth.
“The plastic items such as pipettes, petri dishes and powder funnels are assembled in large quantities and in a modular way” he explains.
The acute vertical lines of the pipettes (used to hold and dispense liquids) suggest rods of rain water seen against a faint sun or moon.
While even the simple funnel takes on a new form of symmetrical beauty…
These imagined structures propose new perspectives on these functional scientific objects.
You can see the full set of six sculptures in all their glory, in the windows of the Wellcome Trust, so come and take a closer look for yourself.