Laurie Ramsell West Midlands, United Kingdom
I studied Fine Art at the Arts University of Bournemouth, where I worked with living materials and emerging technologies to explore permaculture, bio-design, and transhumanism. I often collaborate with scientists and academics on projects to engage wider audiences in new scientific discoveries and bio-art practices.
Over the last 5 years my cross-disciplinary practice has investigated what it means to be human in an age of genetic modification, virtual reality, and disruptive technologies, often explored through the use of biological materials. I have worked with scientists to explore the human genome using zebrafish embryos, cultured living bioart sculptures from bacterial cellulose, and for Digbeth First Friday, reproduced the Birmingham Art map in a petri dish using oats to represent galleries, seeing how slime mold moves between them to find the most efficient route around the city. In 2015 I began an Arts Council supported residency to extend my knowledge of transhumanism. The outcomes from the project included 3 new artworks showing 3D printed ‘homunculi’ grown in and around bespoke handmade glass alembics exhibited in five separate exhibitions across Birmingham, Liverpool, Nottingham and the Black Country, including the British International Glass Biennale 2017; development of strong networks with Birmingham Open Media, Virtual Futures Warwick, and the University of Birmingham; mentoring from glass technicians and 3D printing fabricators; and engagement talks/workshops at Birmingham Skeptics and TEDxBRUM 2017.
Recently, I have built a 3D clay printer during a residency at Modern Clay Studio in Birmingham, and collaborated with Dr. Melissa Grant to produce 3D printed ceramic teeth, as part of Dr. Grant’s research involving distortions in teeth at high temperatures, exhibited at Open Wide Gallery space in the Birmingham Dental Hospital. I have also collaborated with bioart societies in the UK and internationally in Edinburgh, Helsinki, and Tokyo with the support of New Art West Midlands, and a-n, and as a special guest of the Japan Foundation Asia Centre ‘Gardens of Biotecnik’.