DNA-inspired sculptures created by world renowned artists and designers, including Jaguar Director of Design Ian Callum, raised £250,000 at auction last night as part of Cancer Research UK’s campaign to raise money for the Francis Crick Institute.
Ian Callum’s Jaguar inspired sculpture raised an impressive £11,000 at leading auction house Christie’s last night. On describing his inspiration behind the design he said:
“When it came to decorating the double-helix sculpture, it was about beauty, simplicity and something gorgeous to look at and that is our DNA here at Jaguar. My inspiration came from the cars and I wanted to emulate the sense of flow created as they travel through the air. We are all very proud to have been involved in this piece, not only because it derived out of that desire to create something exciting, but more importantly because the money we helped raise will support such an important cause that is the Francis Crick Institute.”
The sculptures were installed across London over the summer as part of the Cancer Research UK’s ‘What’s in your DNA?’ art trail, appearing at some of London’s most iconic locations such as Trafalgar Square, Parliament Square and St Paul’s Cathedral.
Andrew Pisker, chairman of Cancer Research UK’s double helix art installation said:
“We’re absolutely thrilled to have raised £250,000 at the Christie’s live auction. We are fundraising, not just for an incredible building, but for humanity; the Crick will deliver research into the diseases that pose the greatest threat to all humanity and it will have global impact.”
Eleven other sculptures were auctioned on the night from Cancer Research UK’s DNA Trail.
Another nine sculptures as well as other donated items, including a ‘portrait’ of Francis Crick’s DNA are being auctioned online by Christie’s with bidding closing on 13 October.
The money raised by the auction will go towards the £100million that Cancer Research UK has pledged to raise to fund the construction of the Crick, a world-leading centre of biomedical research and innovation due to open in 2016.
When it opens, the Crick will see more than 1,200 scientists coming together 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.