In collaboration with scientists from Dr Giles Plant’s group in the School of Anatomy and Human Biology, de Menezes learned tissue culture techniques in order to apply this knowledge to the growth of live neurons in three dimensional structures.
Marta de Menezes is a Portuguese artist (b. Lisbon, 1975) possesses a degree in Fine Arts from the University in Lisbon, an MSt in History of Art and Visual Culture from the University of Oxford, and is a PhD candidate at the University of Leiden. Her work in research laboratories explores the intersections between Art and Biology, demonstrating biological technologies as art medium.
In 1999 de Menezes created her first biological artwork (Nature?) by modifying the wing patterns of live butterflies. Since then, she has used diverse biological techniques including functional MRI of the brain to create portraits where the mind can be visualised (Functional Portraits, 2002); fluorescent DNA probes to create micro-sculptures in human cell nuclei (nucleArt, 2002); sculptures made of proteins (Proteic Portrait, 2002-2007), DNA (Innercloud, 2003; The Family, 2004) or incorporating live neurons (Tree of Knowledge, 2005) or bacteria (Decon, 2007).
Her work has been exhibited and critiqued internationally and is currently the artistic director of Ectopia, an experimental art laboratory within the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência in Lisbon. She is also the Director of Cultivamos Cultura in the South of Portugal.
Menezes' residency also included research into establishing a similar organisation to SymbioticA in Lisbon, Portugal.
The six-month residency was funded by Instituto das Artes / Ministério da Cultura, Portugal.
Dr. Giles Plant’s group in the School of Anatomy and Human Biology