Me at the drawing board

Me at the drawing board

About ME

I'm an interdisciplinary artist, merging art and bioscience. My works are inspired by pattern formation, and much of my work questions or reinterprets how biological forms respond and adapt to change. I'm especially interested in crypsis, mimicry, and all the ways animals and plants disguise themselves, or pretend to be something they're not.

My artistic practice has two parts. Firstly, making large scale works that can be interacted with to allow viewers to construct or uncover stories, including large-scale pattern installations, and giant handmade books. Secondly, exploring the ways humans are changing our environment, and imagining how camouflage and mimicry in living organisms might adapt to that. Will new species evolve to hide in plain sight on human made materials? Are there parallels in the way we as humans camouflage ourselves, and when we feel safe sharing facets of our identities? Communicating these concepts via art accessible to my disability communities - both online and and physically - is also a key aim. In seeking to make my art as physically accessible as possible, I’m always looking for and experimenting with new methods for creating and sharing my work.

In the studio, I use traditional art media, & re-purposed laboratory supplies in detailed drawings, paintings, & ink patterns. I run bespoke art workshops for scientists & members the public of all ages. I have a PhD in neuropharmacology - that’s thanks to the educational/maintenance grants and greater social mobility we used to have in the UK, and I’ll be angry every day until we get those education-boosts back for folks from low income families/households. I’ve worked as a laboratory scientist, and I used to do human neural cell culture alongside skills-based art; when I say I'm interdisciplinary, I ain't messing.

Bios of 25, 50,100, & 200 words

25 words; Immy Smith is an interdisciplinary artist, merging art and bioscience. They specialise in exploring pattern formation, including cellular structures, and camouflage in plants and animals. 

50 words; Immy Smith is an interdisciplinary artist, merging skills-based art with bioscience and laboratory materials. They specialise in exploring pattern formation, including cellular structures, camouflage in plants and animals, and imagined evolution of mimicry in species. Recent work includes large-scale interactive ink patterns, giant handmade books, and playing card decks.

100 words; Immy Smith is an interdisciplinary artist, merging skills-based art with bioscience and laboratory materials. They specialise in exploring pattern formation, including cellular structures, and camouflage in plants and animals. Their central question is; what would happen if life evolved to mimic human-made materials? Recent work includes large-scale gallery installations of interactive ink patterns, giant handmade books for public institutions, and crowdfunded playing card decks combining entomology and traditional art. Immy also runs sciart workshops for scientists, and members of the public, and is a proud member of the disability community aiming to make their work as accessible as possible.

200 words

Immy Smith is an interdisciplinary artist, merging skills-based art with bioscience and laboratory materials. They specialise in exploring pattern formation, including cellular structures, and mimicry/camouflage in plants and animals. A central question of their recent work is; what would happen if life evolved to hide in synthetic environments, or on human-made materials? This has dominated their collaborative and solo work, including a crowdfunded poker deck called ‘Cryptic Cards’, examining how moths might evolve to hide on playing cards.

With a PhD in pharmacology and experience in human tissue culture, cellular patterns and biological specimens in scientific collections are another core theme. This is reflected in art produced for a recent Leverhulme Trust residency in a brain tumour research lab. Work for residencies is often incorporated into giant handmade books, and installations that the public can interact with.

Immy takes commissions for clients ranging from individual scientists, to publications like Scientific American. They also design and run drawing workshops for scientists and members of the public, for clients including the British Science Association, EMLab (Centre for Advanced Microscopy), and Portsmouth Cathedral.

Immy is a proud member of the disability community, and aims to make their work as accessible as possible.

Ink Pattern workshops at the Colour Museum, Bradford, UK, as part of the British Science Festival.

Ink Pattern workshops at the Colour Museum, Bradford, UK, as part of the British Science Festival.

A detailed drawing in progress

A detailed drawing in progress

Work-in-progress on a hand-drawn 3 of Clubs playing card design.

Work-in-progress on a hand-drawn 3 of Clubs playing card design.

Live drawing in the giant 'Connecting Narratives' book, at the Patterns of Mutation exhibition, Gallery II, Bradford,

Live drawing in the giant 'Connecting Narratives' book, at the Patterns of Mutation exhibition, Gallery II, Bradford,

An ink drawing installed behind perspex, allowing exhibition participants to draw over it as shown here, at the 'Connecting Narratives' exhibition, aspex gallery, Portsmouth, UK.

An ink drawing installed behind perspex, allowing exhibition participants to draw over it as shown here, at the 'Connecting Narratives' exhibition, aspex gallery, Portsmouth, UK.

The giant handmade 'Symbiosis' book in Herbarium RNG, Reading, UK

The giant handmade 'Symbiosis' book in Herbarium RNG, Reading, UK

A timelapse of painting one of the Cryptic Card designs

A lichen-themed art workshop for families, devised for the British Science Association.

A lichen-themed art workshop for families, devised for the British Science Association.