Anna McNay

Interview with Joey Holder at Wysing Arts Centre


Interview: Joey Holder

Joey Holder: Ophiux
Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridge
25 September – 20 November 2016

Working with cutting edge
science, artist Joey Holder (b1981) has created an immersive clinical
environment, into which the visitor enters, wearing blue shoe covers, to be
confronted with a larger-than-life MRI scanner, tanks containing dried out
deep sea
creatures, and X-ray light boxes, on which magnified bacteria and a curious
skull are displayed. This is Ophiux,
a speculative pharmaceutical company of the not-too-distant future, working
with synthetic biology, to create new, genetically modified

During her 2015 residency at Wysing Arts Centre in Cambridge Holder was introduced to Dr Marco Galardini, a computational biologist at the
European Bioinformatics Institute at the Wellcome Trust Genome Campus,
Cambridge, and Dr Katrin Linse, senior biodiversity biologist at the
British Antarctic Survey, Cambridge. She has collaborated with them on her
research to produce both the installation and the accompanying film, recently
premiered at Deptford X, and soon to go on a national tour.  

Having studied sciences and art at A-level, Holder chose to follow an artistic career, studying first at Kingston University and later at Goldsmiths, where she obtained her MFA in 2010. Science has remained
an enduring interest, however, as have curious and alien life forms, and – no
doubt influenced by her time spent as a dive master in Turkey – the underwater
world. This complex and thought-provoking exhibition brings together these
diverse strands and makes a case for future such discourses between artists and

Holder showed Studio International around the installation and
explained some of the science fact and science fiction involved.

Watch this interview here