The Fox Got You!

15 July 2016, 11.00 AM - 11 September 2016, 4.00 PM

University of Bristol Botanic Garden

Throughout the summer the Botanic Garden will be exhibiting a work by Franςoise Sergy which explores the relationship between plants and medicine. The Exhibit will run in the Bradley room of the Holmes and can be accessed through the refreshments on the terrace of the Garden.

The Fox Got You is an art and science project celebrating six common plants which are at the origin of five major medicinal drugs; Foxglove and the drug Digoxin for the treatment of heart arrhythmia, Goat’s rue and the drug Metformin for diabetes, Yew and the cancer chemotherapy drugs Paclitaxel and Docetaxel, Autumn crocus and the drug Colchicine for gout, Meadowsweet, willow and Aspirin.

Plants feed us but they can also save lives. Françoise Sergy is a photography artist. As it happens, she is diabetic and the drug Metformin is part of her treatment. She started the project as a way of saying thank you to the plant goat’s rue, which indirectly keeps her alive. She brought together the people involved at each stage of the journey from plants to drugs.

The Fox Got You exhibition consists of a photography installation, interactive exhibits and wall mounted artwork.

The photography installation includes the greenhouse and exhibits made of greenhouse ‘staging’, which is a type of workbench traditionally used in greenhouses. On the staging are dried botanical specimens of the six plants featured. These specimens are the only element of the exhibition which is not represented on this website. The artist wanted the plants to have a physical presence in the exhibition.

There are two interactive exhibits: The first consists of hand-made books which visitors can open and read.  The second interactive exhibit consists of tablet computers, with headphones, for visitors to listen to the project’s interviews. Also included are A4 leaflets for visitors to take, about the history of the drugs and the scientific institutions featured. 

The wall mounted photographs are grouped by series: Fox Heart, Galega and Metformin, Cancer and Yew, The Gout, Aspirin and Platelets. Some photographs are framed in traditional black frames, others are mounted onto foam boards. On this website, each series has its own page.

The exhibition runs from Friday 15th July until Sunday 11th September.