The Families is a series of nine aluminium panels, each work corresponding to a viral family under clinical investigation using viruses as avatars in the treatment of cancer.
The beauty and destructiveness of viruses increasingly became a source of fascination as homologies are drawn between the inherent unpredictable characteristics of oil pigment, which is not disparate from the conduct of viral behaviour in the body. As virotherapy uses natural or engineered oncolytic viruses to selectively kill tumour cells in the treatment of terminal diseases, a virus being put to therapeutic use is a paradox.
The paintings do not seek to illustrate; rather an underlying reference is of a perceptual view of scientific reality within the ‘invisible’ world. Through investing the paintings with a sensibility, they become a game of interpretation.
At the time scientists at Imperial College, London, were exploring nine viral families Rhabdoviridae, Herpesviridae, Poxviridae, Reoviridae, Paramyxoviridae, Picornaviridae, Adenoviridae, Parvoviridae and Retroviridae.