Two weeks ago, after much anticipation, MURUGIAH and I sat down to discuss the project and create a brief for him to work from. It was a productive chat; I talked through the themes from my research that I wanted to explore, and he suggested some initial ideas. It was interesting for me to see which of the research themes he particularly engaged with, and his ideas for exploring them visually – completely out of the box to what I was imagining! ‘Outside In’ is beginning to take shape!
So what’s it all about?
‘Outside In’ is an exploration of the themes from my PhD. I am studying how an intricacy of environmental factors can influence the composition of your gut microbiota – the community of tiny microorganisms that live inside you and may have key associations with your health. As you can imagine, a lot of research has focused on how diet might influence which of the little guys are there and in what quantity, but other factors such as where you live, your early life and who you live with might also have an effect – I’m even writing up some research that suggests there might be an association between your socioeconomic status and your gut microbiota.
I think there’s something really powerful in this idea that our interactions with the outside world shape our inside world; that we are so connected to the spaces we have and will inhabit – and potentially this is not always beneficial for us. This is what we want to explore in ‘Outside In’.
MURUGIAH will examine these themes visually via an illustrated mural, which we will then display publicly and hopefully be able to invite feedback from anyone who views it, as we’d love to understand what you take from it. What will be interesting as the project unfolds is the conflict between my fears of overstating or misrepresenting research and allowing MURUGIAH to use his artistic license to explore ideas thematically rather than literally.
We’re aiming to have the piece complete by the end of September, and I’ll post preliminary sketches soon. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please get in touch!