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Victoria Shennan

MA work

Mining the Body: Microbes and minerals

The body is a landscape composed of different ecosystems and diverse habitats. Bordering interior and exterior, microbes populate this topography and connect one person with another through actions, objects and environments.

Bacteria are an embodiment of presence and absence – unseen and barely perceptible apart from their effects – they form us. Microbes are vital for human health, so understanding the fragile balance of these ecosystems is crucial to protecting these precious habitats.

How do we mediate this unseen world and weigh its value? What if we could trace this boundary that connects us, using the body a medium to experience these invisible worlds? These questions begin to map the world hidden in plain view.


  • MA Degree


    School of Humanities


    MA Goldsmithing, Silversmithing, Metalwork & Jewellery, 2015

  • I seek the poetic in the prosaic: where do we draw the distinction between ordinary and extraordinary and where do they shade into one another? This reflects the human condition, questioning why we think and act the way we do. I’m drawn to the performances of the body and processes of life, habitual routines we create and rhythms of nature that underpin our existence.

    Often working collaboratively, I look to find a common language with people from different walks of life, particularly in the field of medical science as I am interested in the translation from one context to another and shifting perceptions.

  • Degrees

  • BA (Hons) Three Dimensional Design, Gray's School of Art
  • Exhibitions

  • 'Anthropocene' part of Invisible You: The Human Microbiome, The Eden Project, Cornwall, 2015; Who's Who, Werkstatt Galerie, Munich, 2015; Work in Progress Show, Royal College of Art, London, 2015; JAMble, Royal College of Art, London, 2014; POP! Power of Process, Camden Collective, London, 2014; Blended Reality, Sixfoot Gallery, Glasgow, 2014; Work in Progress Show, Royal College of Art, London, 2014; New Designers, Business Deisgn Centre, London, 2013; Degree Show, Gray's School of Art, Aberdeen, 2013; A Creative Intervention, Provost Skene House, Aberdeen, 2011; Plate Exhibition, WASPS Patriothall Gallery, Edinburgh, 2010
  • Awards

  • Scholarship prize, Scottish International Education Trust Visual Arts Award, 2015
  • Publications

  • Gabriella Bennet. Design Focus: Four of Scotland's Finest Sculptors, Homes & Interiors Scotland, Issue 86, 2012; Invisible You: The Human Microbiome, Exhibition publication, 2015, p56-57; Emily Pritchard, Invisible You, Wellcome Trust blog, 20 May, 2015