Julia Shepley • USA • Artist
Christina Trollmo • Sweden • Scientist
For their collaboration, the sculptor Julia Shepley worked with the Swedish scientist Tina Trollmo1
to create art works and texts that would help explain antibodies to a non-scientific community.
Shepley’s sculptural work typically is comprised of many related parts, layered or joined together.
Her interest in antibodies derives from their innate structural repetition, partial variation and capacity for change,
as well as their topical relevance in battling swine flu, cancer, and autoimmune disease.
Using Trollmo’s expert counsel–including writing and scientific imaging–in drawings and three-dimensional sculptures,
Shepley interpreted the structure of the antibody with its inherent variations and functions, for instance, as an antigen binding to a pathogen.
1 Trollmo’s work focuses on the role of antibodies in autoimmune disease and how antibody drugs affect our immune system.
As she explains, “Antibodies are one essential part of our immune system. Our body is full of antibodies, with about 1016 specificities.
Antibodies circulate in our blood, ready to bind to viruses and bacteria entering our bodies to help us defend ourselves against infection.
When antibodies have bound the virus or bacteria, these infectious agents become harmless and are eliminated from our body.”
The Hampden and Central Galleries, University of Massachusetts •
Amherst, Massachusetts, USA • April 2011
Located on the University of Massachusetts’ Amherst campus, Hampden and Central Galleries’ mission is to facilitate cultural understanding through
exhibitions and in-depth adjunct programming. The main focus is on new work by emerging artists in the fields of painting, sculpture, printmaking,
mixed media, video and new media.