Charity launches DNA inspired London art trail

Cancer Research UK

Twenty-one DNA inspired double helix sculptures will appear across London as part of Cancer Research UK’s campaign to raise awareness and funds for the Francis Crick Institute, a world-leading centre of biomedical research and innovation due to open in 2016.

The sculptures have been designed by leading artists, designers and sculptors from across the world, including Ai WeiWei, Thierry Noir, Zaha Hadid, Orla Kiely, Jane Morgan and twins Chris and Xand van Tulleken. Each of the designers was asked ‘what’s in your DNA?’ and the results are a mixture of intriguing and colourful designs that are sure to brighten up London this summer.

“We’re really excited to be launching our DNA inspired London art trail. It’s a great opportunity to raise awareness of Cancer Research UK’s involvement in the Crick, and we hope to raise lots of money for the campaign when the sculptures are auctioned off in the autumn.” - Andrew Pisker, Cancer Research UK

The sculptures will be based at some of London’s most iconic locations, including Trafalgar Square, Parliament Square and St Paul’s Cathedral. The trail will attract art enthusiasts, families and London workers alike, and not only is each sculpture a unique design, each also has a fun fact about DNA on the base. For example, did you know you share about 90 per cent of your DNA with a mouse, and about 50 per cent with a banana?

The trail will be live for ten weeks, with the sculptures then being auctioned at Christie’s in September. All the money raised will go towards the £100million that Cancer Research UK has pledged to raise for the Crick.

When it opens in 2016, the Crick will see more than 1,200 scientists coming under one roof to accelerate the rate of progress in tackling the major diseases, such as cancer, facing the global population. It is a visionary collaboration between six of the world’s leading medical research organisations: Cancer Research UK, the Medical Research Council (MRC), the Wellcome Trust, Imperial College London, King’s College London and UCL (University College London).

Francis Crick was one of the people to discover the DNA double helix, alongside James Watson and Maurice Wilkins, and based on the work of Rosalind Franklin. It is thought to be one of the most significant discoveries in modern science and has transformed our understanding of the human body and disease. Crick was noted for his intelligence, openness to new ideas and collaborations with scientists working in different fields of expertise which are founding principles for the institute.

Andrew Pisker, board member of Create the Change campaign and chairman of the double helix art installation, said: “We’re really excited to be launching our DNA inspired London art trail celebrating Francis Crick’s incredible scientific achievement and bringing it to life on the streets of London this summer. It’s a great opportunity to raise awareness of Cancer Research UK’s involvement in the Crick, and we hope to raise lots of money for the campaign when the sculptures are auctioned off in the autumn.”

For more information on the Francis Crick Institute and the London art trail, and to find out how to register your interest in the auction, visit www.cruk.org/crick

ENDS

For further information, please contact the Cancer Research UK press office on 0203 469 8315 or at press.office@cancer.org.uk. For out of hours, please call the duty press officer on 07050 264 059.

Notes to Editor

List of artists/designers and sculpture locations:

1& 2 Ai WeiWei

Christie’s window, 85 Old Brompton Rd, SW7 3LD

Darren Baker Gallery window, 81 Charlotte Street, W1T 4PP(available early July)

  1. Andrew Logan - Festival Gardens, St Paul's, EC4M 8AD
  2. Aston Martin - Cardinal Place window, 80 Victoria Street, SW1E 5JL (available early July)
  3. Ben Shine - St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, Euston Road, NW1 2AR (available early July)
  4. Chris and Xand van Tulleken - Victoria Station, near WH Smith SW1E 5ND
  5. Darren Baker - Trafalgar Square, WC2H 0HE
  6. Guy Portelli - Royal Albert Hall, South Steps, SW7 2AP
  7. Ian Callum, Director of Design, Jaguar - South Kensington Station,
Pelham Street, SW7 2NB
  8. Jane Morgan – Coutts window, The Strand,sWC2Ro0QS
  9. Leyla Aliyeva - King's Cross Station, near Leon, N1C 4TB
  10. Mayor of Westminster - Great George Street, outside No. 10, SW1P 3AE
  11. Michael Howells – Top of South Molton Street, Bond Street
  12. Nick Gentry - Barbican Centre, Foyer of Cinema 2 & 3, Beech Street, EC2Y 8DS

  13. Orla Kiely - Dovehouse Green, King's Road, SW3 5UF
  14. Pilar Enrich - Trafalgar Square, WC2H 0HE
  15. Ross Brawn - Peter's Hill, St Paul's, EC4V 5EY
  16. Ted Baker - Broadwick Street, W1F 9PE
  17. Thierry Noir - Duke of York Square, King's Road, SW3 4LY
  18. Tim Ashley - Waterloo Station, outside M&S, SE1 8SW
  19. Zaha Hadid - Somerset House, WC2R 1LA


About The Francis Crick Institute*

The Francis Crick Institute is a world-leading centre of biomedical research and innovation. It will house more than 1,200 leading scientists from a variety of disciplines working together under one roof to tackle the biggest health challenges faced by humankind. Dedicated to research excellence, the institute will have the scale, vision and expertise to tackle challenging scientific questions underpinning health and disease.

Due for completion in late 2015, The Francis Crick Institute is a visionary collaboration between six of the world’s leading medical research organisations: Cancer Research UK, the Medical Research Council, the Wellcome Trust, UCL (University College London),  King’s College London and Imperial College London. It will be world-class with a strong national role – training scientists and developing ideas for public good. www.crick.ac.uk

*Please refer to the institute as the Francis Crick Institute initially in all copy. It can be referred to as the Crick after the first mention.

About Cancer Research UK

  • Cancer Research UK is the world’s leading cancer charity dedicated to saving lives through research.
  • Cancer Research UK’s pioneering work into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer has helped save millions of lives.
  • Cancer Research UK receives no government funding for its life-saving research. Every step it makes towards beating cancer relies on every pound donated.
  • Cancer Research UK has been at the heart of the progress that has already seen survival rates in the UK double in the last forty years.
  • Today, 2 in 4 people survive cancer. Cancer Research UK’s ambition is to accelerate progress so that 3 in 4 people will survive cancer within the next 20 years.
  • Cancer Research UK supports research into all aspects of cancer through the work of over 4,000 scientists, doctors and nurses.
  • Together with its partners and supporters, Cancer Research UK's vision is to bring forward the day when all cancers are cured.

For further information about Cancer Research UK's work or to find out how to support the charity, please call 0300 123 1022 or visit www.cancerresearchuk.org. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

About Cancer Research UK’s campaign to raise £100m for the Francis Crick Institute

  • Cancer Research UK is the only one of the six founding partners raising funds philanthropically to complete its contribution to the overall £650m cost to build the Crick
  • In 2012, Cancer Research UK launched the ‘Create the Change’ campaign which aims to raise £100m towards they charity’s contribution.  It is our boldest campaign yet, aiming to engage with philanthropists both in the UK and internationally to make transformational donations towards establishing the new institute
  • Cancer Research UK has received some extremely generous gifts to date and hopes to inspire even more people to get involved by investing in this building and changing the future of medical research
  • In June 2015 Cancer Research UK is launching the public phase of the campaign, encouraging people across the country to support the campaign
  • Visit www.cruk.org/crick to find out how to get involved