Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Giant E.coli sculpture unveiled in Sheffield

E.coli sculpture Image copyright Luke Jerram
Image caption Artist Luke Jerram's sculpture was built by hot air balloon manufacturer Cameron Balloons

A 90ft-long inflatable sculpture of an E.coli bacterium suspended from the ceiling of Sheffield's Winter Garden has been unveiled.

The giant sculpture was created by artist Luke Jerram and built with the help of a hot air balloon manufacturer.

It has been made for a University of Sheffield event to celebrate the work of scientist Sir Hans Krebs.

Mr Jerram's previous works include a giant water slide and installing street pianos in cities around the world.

He said: "Making visible the microscopic world around us, the artwork was made as an experimental object to contemplate and allow the public to experience a dizzying perception of scale.

"Whether it's showing people new ways to occupy and utilise our cities, or shifting perceptions about the hidden microscopic world around us, I like to make the public think about the world in new ways."

Image copyright Luke Jerram
Image caption The sculpture was made for the University of Sheffield's KrebsFest being held in November

The 28m sculpture has been blown up to the extent that were an average person to be scaled-up at the same ratio they would rise to at a height of 9,000km (5,592 miles) - the same as the distance from the UK to Japan.

The artwork was made with the help of Cameron Balloons, in Bristol, the same company which helped Mr Jerram make his giant water slide in 2014 and made the Breitling Orbiter Three balloon, the first to fly non-stop around the world.

Image copyright Luke Jerram
Image caption Mr Jerram has previously sculpted the E.coli bacterium in glass

Mr Jerram said it had taken about six months to build the artwork, including a redesign after the first version ripped while being inflated.

The sculpture was officially unveiled at the Winter Garden at 11:00 BST where it will be displayed until 3 November before being moved to the university's Firth Hall for KrebsFest.

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