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News Release

Art Meets Science as Inner Spaces opens at the Ontario Science Centre

Toronto, ON (April 25, 2018) — Experience breathtaking images that showcase scientific discoveries at the cellular level as Inner Spaces, part of the Contact Photography Festival, which opens May 1, 2018, at the Ontario Science Centre. The installation is free with general admission and will be on display until May 31, 2018. This scientific research photography display is a collaboration between the University of Toronto, Contact Photography Festival and the Ontario Science Centre. Inner Spaces features photographic magnifications of cells and tissues, showcasing research in progress through the eyes of scientists. What their microscopes reveal is transforming the human body into a frontier for discovery that rivals the cosmos. The installation showcases the creativity in science research and the inherent beauty in unexpected by-products.

“Art and Science intertwine in this beautiful installation that speaks to our artistic and rational sensibilities,” said Maurice Bitran, PhD, CEO and Chief Science Officer of the Ontario Science Centre. “Inner Spaces is both an aesthetic and an educational experience.”

“Scientific research taking place in labs across Canada produces not only vital answers to questions in regenerative medicine but also beautiful visual by-products,” said Molly Shoichet, Ontario’s first Chief Scientist, whose lab at the University of Toronto produced some of the Inner Spaces images, “Visitors will witness scientific research through a new, unexpected lens and begin to appreciate the creative endeavours of the researchers and their scientific work.”

Two of the images in Inner Spaces include Tobias Fuehrmann’s Crossing and Blair Gage’s Medusa.

  • Tobias Fuehrmann, Crossing
    The site of spinal cord injury can present the same vibraMultiple splatters of overlapping colours in reds, blues, greens and teals across a black backgroundnt elements of abstract art. The red filaments are nerve fibres (called axons) that connect the brain with the rest of our body via the spinal cord, allowing us to move our arms and legs. When the spinal cord is damaged, function is lost below the site of injury. To overcome this devastation, stem cells (shown in green) are transplanted, and axons (in red) are encouraged to re-grow, thereby restoring at least some of the lost nerve connections and some of the lost functions. (Cell nuclei are shown in blue.)

  • Blair Gage, MedusaRed tendrils on a red and pink bulb, surrounded by blue spheres and green speckles on a black background
    Does this image conjure up visions of a spider? Or of an extraterrestrial villain from a sci-fi film? This single human amniotic stem cell can grow into all different cell types — skin, cartilage, nerve, muscle, bone. With the goal of finding a cell that can produce insulin for the treatment of diabetes, these cells were designed to produce a red fluorescent protein to show the movement of insulin. The green colour in the background represents those cells that did not produce insulin. The juxtaposition of red and green reflects that moments of success often come after many failed attempts. (Cell nuclei are shown in blue.)


  • For general information about the Ontario Science Centre please see the Visit Us section of the webpage and for contact information please refer to our Contact Us page or
    phone: 416-696-1000.

    Media Contact:

    Photo of Anna Relyea.

    Anna Relyea
    Director, Strategic Communications
    Phone: 416-696-3273
    Mobile: 416-668-1967
    Fax: 416-696-3161

    Communications Department
    Ontario Science Centre
    770 Don Mills Road
    Toronto ON M3C 1T3

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