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Techniques from Science and Medicine: Art by Angela Palmer

A sculpture of a racing helmet made in glassSusie Wolff: Portrait of a Racing Driver, crystal glass


Palmer is an English artist who produces sculptural and installation artworks in glass and other materials. In recent works, the artist has utilized techniques from science and medicine, such as MRI scans to build a layered self portrait. 

A work made from a series of layers of drawing etched into glassHeart of Glass


I like the aesthetic that Palmer’s recent glass works take on -- these pieces seem to combine aesthetics from fine glass sculpture (like that produced by Dan Cummings) and from drawing. In pieces like Heart of Glass, thin panels of glass, each etched with a sort of contour drawing representing a scan, are placed in a row, forming layers and lending the whole piece a three-dimensional schematic look. 


The artist has also produced self portraits using the same technique, though the notion of “portrait” here is a bit unconventional. The artist draws on imagery from MRI scans of her own brain, etching the same contour line imagery into glass and creating an image of herself that is at once strangely intimate and scientifically distanced.

A portrait of the brain of artist Angela PalmerBrain of the artist, Angela Palmer, hand engraving on glass

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. They hold a degree in Critical and Cultural Practices from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in Technical Writing from BCIT. Dallas has a passion for speaking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In their studio practice they are an illustrator and budding tattoo artist, but they consider themselves a writer foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises or their art on Instagram.

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