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about the artist: pauline pratt

My reference point is a fascination with the body. I am drawn to medical scientific processes and the interest to translate and reveal these into a personal and collective experience through visual artwork. Essentially, I am interested in understanding and intervening in the laboratory ecology. This has led me to explore how biomedical sciences classify, categorise and absorb scientific knowledge, both intellectually and physically. I am known for art:science work at the University of Southampton’s School of Medicine where for the past three years I have worked alongside leading cancer scientists, creating work based on their research as I perceive it. My engagement with the medical sciences began following a spinal injury in 1995. Following an MRI scan and hospital treatment it became artistically and personally crucial for me to make sense of myself in relation to these medical interventions to my body and to take ownership of these life changing events. What interests me now is the intertwining of the abstract with the personal; this rationale was explored during studies at Bath Spa University College and a Masters Degree in Painting at Winchester School of Art. Formal training in painting, textiles and photographic techniques has led to a strategy to undertake experimental representational and installation artworks. Specifically, I negotiate a way through artistic and scientific frameworks and cultures, often loosing direction, but still purposefully breaking with convention. Faith is the first major embodiment of these experiences and playfully creates a three-way collaboration between artists, scientists and the public. Audience participatory work, such as Faith, is not a new element of my practice - interactive films such as Vodka Chip Shop Bath and DNA Cabaret are examples as are Observing science and Your DNA Signature workshops.

I continue to paint, using as source material the microscopic panorama of an individual’s purified DNA. During creation of these paintings the canvas surface predominates and generates a personality of its own so beginning a visual relationship between surface and concept.

Recently I have completed a photography residency at the Pathology Laboratory, Leeds General Infirmary working with Dr Sally Lane. Funded by The Clinical Pathology Society the aim was to produce a pilot public awareness leaflet to be distributed throughout the country. I am also a Medical Humanities visual arts tutor for the School of Medicine Student Selective Unit.

A past recipient of funding from the Arts, Research and Humanities Council, Leverhulme Trust Award and currently holding an Arts Council Lottery Grant for the presentation of Faith to the public.

If you wish to know more about my work visit www.paulinepratt.com or wish to commission artwork or purchase a DNA kit please contact email plpratt@lineone.net or visit www.yougottahave.co.uk (website under construction)