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Science Snaps: the art and science of cancer, the universe and everything

by Kat Arney | Analysis

18 March 2015

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Livvy Fink artwork
An example of Livvy Fink's artwork / Photograph courtesy of Nic Walton, used with permission
This entry is part 10 of 30 in the series Science Snaps

These ghostly blobs have been carefully created in glass by artist Livvy Fink, as part of a collaboration with researchers at our Cambridge Institute and the Institute of Astronomy at the University of Cambridge.

On the left, the glass is lit by white light, but the picture on the right was taken under the glow of an ultraviolet lamp.

Stefanie spindles x200

Inspiration: dividing cells, photographed by Dr Stefanie Reichelt from our Cambridge Institute

Her work is inspired by the exciting project we wrote about here, bringing together astronomers with cancer researchers to adapt star-gazing software to analyse images of breast tumour cells seen down the microscope.

Through this work our scientists are aiming to identify new ways to identify and understand cancer cells (you can read more about it on the Cambridge University website too).

Livvy’s artworks aim to capture the wonder of the universe – from distant galaxies far, far away, to the microscopic cells within our own bodies. Are these delicate orbs cells or stars? It’s all a matter of perception.

This image is just one of thirteen pieces that Livvy has made for the LENS exhibition at the University’s Institute of Astronomy as part of the Cambridge Science Festival, supported by the Wellcome Trust. The show is running until this Saturday (21st March), so make sure you head down if you’re in the area.

Full details can be found at

All are welcome, and entry is free.

– Kat