MA student in Fine Arts
Award-winning publication: Crafting Biotextiles, thesis research and production in new media (bio-art), August 2014 - November 2015, Australia/Ottawa/Montreal
Published on WhiteFeather Hunter's website
The biotextiles produced by Ms Hunter are functional in that they are viable in vitro specimens with greater potential applications for the biomedical field. As an artist, she is mostly interested in the visual presentation of microscopic organisms, and in the negotiation processes around publicly displaying biohazardous materials within a gallery context. The field of Bio-Art is extremely new in Canada and has not yet seen mammalian tissue engineering as an aesthetic practice. This kind of work raises important ethical questions for both art and science, particularly around the use of vital, nonhuman laboratory materials in research and production processes. These ethical/political considerations are balanced with questions about the role of craft and function in fine art and cultural presentation. As biotechnology rapidly advances on a global scale, the cultural conversations around the implications of such technology are important to facilitate. This work makes scientific, technological practice accessible to a wider audience through public art-based presentation, and instigates personal introspection about its meaning.