Blog: The SLG Art Assassins collaborate with the BRC

Caption: An installation view with Data Dive in the foreground. Here you can see the pattern made by the assemblage of the DNA visualisations. 

The Art Assassins, the South London Gallery’s young people’s forum, work together with contemporary artists, designers, filmmakers and each other to create a programme of events for other young people and a wider audience. Here one of the Art Assassins shares a blog on their recent Peckham Experiment exhibition where they worked with Charles Curtis, Genomics & Biomarker Core Facility Manager to extract their DNA. 

Caption: Art Assassins with Ilona Sagar, Giulia Smith and Ali Eisa presenting their work together.

We worked together with Ilona Sagar in parallel to her exhibition Correspondence O at the South London Gallery. We shared an interest in the Peckham Experiment, a pioneering health movement founded by doctors George Scott Williamson and Innes Hope Pearse in 1925. This led to discussions, research, and collaborative works exploring privacy, health and data ownership.

Working with the BioResource at the NIHR Maudsley BRC at King’s College London, our DNA was extracted and visualised. Basically we had to fill up a plastic tube with our spit and the next week we received a visualisation of the DNA.  It was interesting seeing the seemingly simple gradient pattern we got back from the lab and it made us think about what might have been lost/gained in the translation of this data.

In our final exhibition For Some Future Time we build a raised platform in the centre of the main gallery of South London Gallery. The platform was the same proportions as the Peckham Experiment’s swimming pool and was covered with enormous print of an assemblage of our DNA visualisations. Informally we knew it as the ‘gene pool’ but the title we gave the work was Data Dive.


Caption: Installation view of For Some Future Time with the work Data Dive in the centre of the exhibition.

For more information about the Art Assassins visit:

Tags: Patient and Carer Involvement and Engagement - BioResource - Public engagement -

By NIHR Maudsley BRC at 19 Dec 2018, 11:00 AM

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