Textile Proteins

  • 2015
  • 2016
  • ongoing

Looking at patterns, surfaces, materials, and ways of stitching and embroidering.

I'm collaborating with Leeds University physicist Lorna Dougan, textile artist Rhiannon Gregory and maker (and physics graduate) Paul Turner.

Our first project was visualising proteins by translating their structures into weaving patterns and making the cloth on hand looms, an idea that came out of the bioLeeds ideas generation session.

As a group we liked the similarities between weaving patterns and the charts and visualisations used to describe the structure of proteins, and we experimented with different rule sets for translation between the two.

Our second piece of work was to translate the negative space (the gaps in-between parts of a structure) of the protein myoglobin into a textile pattern, get some fabric printed, and upholster two chairs with it.

The chairs were then exhibited at the opening of Leeds University's Astbury Centre for Structural Molecular Biology.

This photo always makes me smile - Rhiannon is explaining that her design is based on the structure of myoglobin to Professor Michael Levitt, who won a Nobel prize for his work on... the structure of myoglobin!