Skip Navigation or Skip to Content
Exhibition National Museum of Scotland

E.coli by Luke Jerram

3 Aug - 31 Aug 2022

The Grand Gallery

The 90ft long inflatable sculpture is 5 million times bigger than the real bacterium.

Bristol-based Luke Jerram's inflatable E.coli sculpture is suspended from the ceiling of our Grand Gallery. Watch the time lapse video below to see how this amazing artwork was installed. 

Installation time lapse

When standing next to it, does the bacterium alter your personal sense of scale? Does it look scary, beautiful, comical or alien? Will you be attracted or repelled by it?

Luke Jerram's E.coli sculpture in the Grand Gallery at the National Museum of Scotland.

Bacteria were the earliest form of life on our planet, and so this artwork could be considered as a curious portrait of our distant ancestors. If there is life on other planets (or moons) in our solar system, it may well look like this. This artwork was also made to reflect upon the importance of bacteria in our lives. Although some forms of Escherichia coli (or E. coli) bacteria can cause illness and even death in humans, the use of the bacteria is vital in medical research.

The E.coli artwork is brought to Edinburgh Art Festival with the support of the University of Sheffield.

Plan your visit to National Museum of Scotland.

National Museum of Scotland
Chambers Street

Map and directions

We want everyone who comes to our museums to enjoy their time with us and make the most of their visit. 

  • There is level access to the Museum via the main doors to the Entrance Hall on Chambers Street and the Tower entrance at the corner of Chambers Street and George IV Bridge. 
  • Lifts are available to all floors and accessible toilets are available on most floors, as well as a Changing Places (U) toilet in the Entrance Hall on Level 0.
  • There is an induction loop in the Auditorium.
  • Guide dogs, hearing dogs and other recognised assistance dogs are admitted.

Find out more about our access information.

Back to top