Demo week: Why the Eye?

Demo Week: Why the Eye?

Demo week... a time to show what you're made of...

So here is what I have been working on:

I have a public space! This row of hoardings around the development of the University of Bedfordshire’s new STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) building on Park Street.


I decided on the visuals of an eye as the basis to develop the initial artwork, a good squidgy vessel to convey concepts of perception, science, technology and community through art.


The design originates from an 18th Century medical diagram depicting anatomy of the human eye, by Scottish physician William Porterfield (Left). I chose this diagram to work from because it is from the same time period in which the hat making industry thrived in Luton.

The design developed when I researched into the materials that hatters in the town used, particularly in the bleaching of straw used to make straw boater hats. The bleaching process used sulphur dioxide, which could cause corneal haze and in some severe cases corneal burns. I have used distorted mirrors in my final work to depict the corneal haze and white pigment around the pupil to demonstrate small corneal burns.

Image ©Rachel Cherry

Image ©Rachel Cherry

Above is the finished painting complete with broken mirror installed to link back to corneal distortion and fragmented vision. The image on the right is an artist impression of what I wish to develop by working with the community and the University to develop a timeline of engaging eyes.

Demo Week:

so onto Demo week, connecting people to place...walk this way


Artwork I designed for the walk was based the 18th Century medical diagram of the human eye and the images I received from my initial questions about what Luton looks like. I also added quotes that inspire me as an artist and let participants pick their artwork to place in their chosen space along the walk.

  •                A walking workshop for people to engage in potential spaces that would benefit from public/interactive art.
  •                A studio visit to see and feedback on the development of an interactive artwork and some examples of my past projects.
  •                A presentation to potential partners in Luton to show and discuss the possibilities of a visual arts programme.

 Photography ©Rachel Cherry