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Life in Glass




June – November 2018

New Hall Art Collection, Murray Edwards College, Cambridge

Huntingdon Rd, Cambridge CB3 0DF

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As part of the Life in Glass project, ReproSoc presents a new art exhibition in the gallery and garden of the New Hall Art Collection at Murray Edwards College, Cambridge.

The exhibition, titled Reproductivities, presents newly-commissioned work of photo-artist Gina Glover, painter Camilla Lyon and performance artist Sophie Seita. 

Reproductivities draws connections between different ways of reproducing life – in plants, in humans, and in art – to ask how the carefully crafted cultures of in vitro life reflect the larger worlds around them.

The exhibition is accompanied by a selection of works drawn from the New Hall permanent collection – Europe's largest collection of art by women – that focus on reproduction.

In addition, a section of the college garden has been devoted to growing corn to celebrate the work of the American plant geneticist, Barbara McClintock (1902–1992), who received a Nobel Prize in Medicine for her pioneering work on horticultural reproduction.

The exhibition will run at Murray Edwards College until

30 November 2018.

Curators (ReproSoc): 

Prof Sarah Franklin

Dr Lucy van de Wiel

Curators (New Hall Art Collection): 


Harriet Loffler

Eliza Gluckman 

Sarah Greaves

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Gina Glover

Gina Glover

Gina Glover co-founded London’s Photofusion Photography Centre in the 1980s. She is the recipient of multiple awards, including the Royal Photographic Society’s Hood Medal, the Medical Research Council’s Visions of Science Award (twice), and research awards from Arts Council England. In 2016 she became part of the Wellcome Foundation Award project, Life in Glass, led by Professor Sarah Franklin.


Glover’s work ranges from these playful explorations of the biomedical sciences to long-term studies of anthropogenic landscapes, through to more psychological studies of environmental perception.

Camilla Lyon

Camilla Lyon

Camilla Lyon has exhibited her painting, drawing and sculpture nationally and internationally including at Dulwich Picture Gallery London, Room Gallery London, Nova Scotia College of Art and Design Canada and the Irish Museum of Modern Art Dublin. She has undertaken residencies at The Garden Museum Lambeth, the Centre for the Urban and Built Environment Manchester and Murray Edwards College, University of Cambridge. 

Camilla studied MA Fine Art at Chelsea College of Art and BA Fine Art at Sheffield Hallam University. She teaches Drawing and Fine Art at Camberwell College of Art, part of the University of the Arts London.

Sophie Seita

Sophie Seita

Sophie Seita is an artist, writer, researcher, and translator. Her performances and lecture performances, which visualise, embody, or translate text via poetic dialogue, sculpture, costume, installation, and choreography.


For this performance commission, Seita responds to the New Hall Art Collection, the concept and choreography of transposition, and the cross-pollinating possibilities of flowery metaphors and planting queer thinking and objects.

Sophie Seita will be performing at a Harvest Festival at Murray Edwards College in the Autumn.

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New Hall Art Collection

The New Hall Art Collection is a collection of modern and contemporary art by women at Murray Edwards College, University of Cambridge.


The Collection was founded in 1986 with the purchase of Mary Kelly’s six-part work Extase, and has evolved ever since through gifts and loans from artists and alumnae.


Today its works number over five hundred, from artists of international quality and renown including Maggi Hambling CBE and Judy Chicago. It is considered to be one of the largest and most significant collections of contemporary art by women in the world.

Reproductivities will encompass many of the spaces around Murray Edwards College, including the Dome, the walkways and the gardens. It will also feature some of the works from the Collection itself, including Joanna Moss’ painting Own Copy.

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The garden at Murray Edwards College is sustained by a propagation programme which means we grow up to 8000 plants a year. Nearly every plant you see was started in our 6 foot by 2 foot heated propagator. The garden is tied into the rhythms of nurturing, culling and growing for each different kind of plant – annuals, biennials, tender perennials and shrubs. We collect thousands of seeds and cuttings for the following year.

Whether the plants are wild or cultivated, many have stories associated with their introduction to the College garden. They may have been bought because they are traditional, or novel. Perhaps they were given as a mark of friendship or in exchange – some represent gardeners’ acquisitiveness others a thread of interest. Some are subsequently given away. 


In combination with the cell cultures explored in Gina Glover’s art, and the reproductivity of the fold in Camille Lyon’s painting, our exhibition explores the theme of horticultural reproduction. Nowhere is this ancient artifice exemplified more vividly than in the cultivation of the maize – or corn – plant. 

Th gardens
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Copyright © 2018  Reproductive Sociology

Research Group (ReproSoc)

Department of Sociology

University of Cambridge

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