From the Dark Ocean Comes Light is a new body of sculptural work by artist Hannah Imlach, resulting from a year-long residency within The Institute of Biological Chemistry, Biophysics & Bioengineering at Heriot-Watt University and the Changing Oceans Group at The University of Edinburgh (funded by The Leverhulme Trust). Imlach’s new work crosses between two revolutionary areas of biological research; relating the worlds of deep-sea cold-water coral reefs off the West Coast of Scotland and current medical research, where new techniques have revealed a world of fluorescent molecules inside cells.
The sculptures created reference historical and contemporary optical processes used by scientists to reveal environments, which are otherwise inaccessible. They aim to give an immersive glimpse of these underwater and microscopic worlds, akin to the ‘charmed period’ experienced by scientists when discovering something for the first time. Also included in the exhibition will be documentation of the scientific and creative research processes, incorporated within the residency.
During her time at Heriot-Watt University, Imlach spent time within the Super High Resolution Imaging Facility, researching the process of fluorescent microscopy and its connection to the marine world. Her work at The University of Edinburgh focused on the threat posed to our coral reef habitats by ocean acidification and how these environments are researched and understood.