About ME

I'm an interdisciplinary artist, merging art & bioscience. My works are inspired by natural patterns and their formation. I'm especially interested in crypsis, mimicry, & all the ways animals & plants disguise themselves, or pretend to be something they're not. My practice has two parts. Firstly, large scale works that can be interacted with to allow viewers to construct or uncover stories, including large-scale pattern installations, and giant handmade books. Secondly, I’m currently focused on exploring the ways humans are changing our environment, and how animal and plant camouflage might adapt to that. Will animals in the anthropocene hide in plain sight on human made materials? And are there parallels in the way we as humans camouflage ourselves, and when we feel safe to reveal information about our identities? What about things we can’t avoid revealing - how do we adapt to potentially hostile environments that we have to navigate?

In the studio, I use traditional art media, & re-purposed laboratory supplies in detailed drawings, paintings, & ink patterns. I’m a disabled spoonie, and I try to make my visual art as accessible as possible. I run bespoke art workshops for scientists & members the public of all ages. My PhD is in pharmacology, and I used to do human neural cell culture alongside skills-based art; when I say I'm interdisciplinary, I ain't messing.

Bios of varying length

25 words; Immy Smith is an interdisciplinary artist, merging art and bioscience. Immy specialises in exploring natural patterns, including cellular structures, and camouflage in plants and animals. 

50 words; Immy Smith is an interdisciplinary artist, merging skills-based art with bioscience and laboratory materials. Immy specialises in exploring natural patterns, including cellular structures, camouflage in plants and animals, and imagined evolution of mimicry in species. Recent work includes large-scale interactive ink patterns, giant handmade books, and playing card decks.

100 words; Immy Smith is an interdisciplinary artist, merging skills-based art with bioscience and laboratory materials. Immy specialises in exploring natural patterns, including cellular structures, and camouflage in plants and animals. A central question is; what would happen if life evolved to mimic human-made materials? Recent work includes large-scale gallery installations of interactive ink patterns, giant handmade books for public institutions, and crowdfunded playing card decks combining entomology and traditional art. Immy also runs sciart workshops for scientists, and members of the public. Immy is a proud member of the disability community and aims to make their work as accessible as possible.

Long bio

Immy Smith is an interdisciplinary artist, merging skills-based art with bioscience and laboratory materials. Immy specialises in exploring natural patterns, including cellular structures, mimicry, and camouflage in plants and animals. A central question of their recent work is; what would happen if life evolved to hide itself in synthetic environments, or on human-made materials? This has dominated both collaborative and commercial work, including a crowdfunded poker deck called ‘Cryptic Cards’, examining how moth species might evolve to hide on playing cards.

With a PhD in pharmacology and experience in human tissue culture, cellular patterns and biological specimens in scientific collections are another core theme of Immy’s work. This is reflected in art produced for a recent Leverhulme Trust residency in Portsmouth’s brain tumour research lab. Work for residencies and exhibitions is often incorporated into giant handmade books, and installations that the public can draw on or interact with.

Immy takes commission work for clients ranging from individual scientists, to publications like Scientific American. They also design and run bespoke drawing workshops for scientists and members of the public, for clients including the British Science Association, EMLab Reading (Centre for Advanced Microscopy), and Portsmouth Cathedral.

Immy is a proud member of the disability community, and aims to make their work as accessible as possible.

A timelapse of painting one of the Cryptic Card designs

  An ink drawing installed behind perspex, allowing exhibition participants to draw over it as shown here, at the 'Connecting Narratives' exhibition, aspex gallery, Portsmouth, UK.

An ink drawing installed behind perspex, allowing exhibition participants to draw over it as shown here, at the 'Connecting Narratives' exhibition, aspex gallery, Portsmouth, UK.

  Ink Pattern workshops at the Colour Museum, Bradford, UK, as part of the British Science Festival.

Ink Pattern workshops at the Colour Museum, Bradford, UK, as part of the British Science Festival.

  Detailed painting on a generative art piece by Anders Hoff, as part of a collaboration.

Detailed painting on a generative art piece by Anders Hoff, as part of a collaboration.

  Work-in-progress on a hand-drawn 3 of Clubs playing card design.

Work-in-progress on a hand-drawn 3 of Clubs playing card design.

  Live drawing in the giant 'Connecting Narratives' book, at the Patterns of Mutation exhibition, Gallery II, Bradford, UK.

Live drawing in the giant 'Connecting Narratives' book, at the Patterns of Mutation exhibition, Gallery II, Bradford, UK.

  The giant handmade 'Symbiosis' book in Herbarium RNG, Reading, UK

The giant handmade 'Symbiosis' book in Herbarium RNG, Reading, UK

  A detailed drawing in progress

A detailed drawing in progress

  A lichen-themed art workshop for families, devised for the British Science Association.

A lichen-themed art workshop for families, devised for the British Science Association.