'A Genomic Portrait: Sir John Sulston’ by Marc Quinn is the result of a remarkable collaboration between the artist and the sitter, scientist Sir John Sulston in which Sulston contributed a sample of his DNA to be used by Quinn in the work. The portrait is the first entirely conceptual portrait to be acquired by the gallery and was commissioned with the support of The Wellcome Trust.
Quinn has created an intriguing portrait of Sulston, which, whilst abstract in the aesthetic sense, provides us with an exact representation of the sitter, and precisely captures what is unique about him. The portrait presents a detail of Sulston's genome - the "recipe" to make him. A highly reflective frame evokes the clinical atmosphere associated with scientific research, and prompts the viewer to consider their own identity and the personal impact of the Human Genome Project.
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