Connecting the dots
James, who is best known for his David Bowie mural in Brixton, has previously suffered from a type of skin cancer known as a basal cell carcinoma. He has lost loved ones to the disease, so this commission was quite personal to him.
The artist was also inspired by the challenge that our researchers are taking on to develop innovative new treatments to outsmart cancer evolution. Reflecting their efforts in this painting was his own personal artistic challenge and a unique way to support our work in finishing cancer.
James painstakingly applied 1cm droplets of paint with the lab pipette onto a 1.25m x 1.25m canvas to create this highly original painting. The intricate artwork made up of an estimated 50,000 small dots took over 250 hours to paint.
Inspired by real-life microscopic images of liver cancer cells used in our cancer research, the image shows how the body’s own immune system responds to the cancer cells to try and keep cancer’s ability to adapt and evolve in check.
Marshalling the immune system in the form of new immunotherapies is just one of the pioneering approaches we are taking to outsmart cancer.