MAKE AT HOME | DNA fridge magnets

with Astro Morphs

During their studio residency at PICA, Astro Morphs developed a series of online art-making activities where art and science converge.

 

Share your creations on social media with the hashtag #picaathome, and you could be featured on our socials!

 

 

Screen Shot 2020-07-06 at 3.07.07 pm copy

Overview

Astro Morphs’ productions and art works are inspired by biology. Have fun creating colourful fridge magnets, while learning the complementary bases that make up DNA.

 

You will need

  • coloured card
  • a ruler
  • a pencil
  • scissors
  • textas, posca paint pens, pencils (to decorate)
  • self-adhesive magnets from the craft shop or recycled magnets from the fridge (We used self-adhesive. If you use recycled magnets, you will need a glue gun, craft glue or blue tack.)

 

Steps

  1. Choose four different coloured pieces of card and rule the card into squares, 5cm by 5cm.
  2. Cut the card into the squares you ruled.
  3. Choose a different coloured card to mark for each letter: A, T, C, and G.
  4. Stick or glue a magnet to the back of each letter.
  5. Put all the letter magnets into a container and make DNA sequences on a magnetic surface with your friends. Just remember the rule: ‘A’ goes with ‘T’, and ‘C’ goes with ‘G’.

 

Reflection

 Consider the magnets you just made:

  • Why do you think DNA is important?
  • Who discovered the shape of the DNA helix?
  • Can you think of a TV show or movie you’ve watched that talks about DNA?
  • Can you draw the DNA helix? Have a go!
  • What does DNA stand for and the letters ‘A’, ‘T’, ‘C’ and ‘G’? Do a search if you’re interested!

 

Fun Fact: Our DNA is in the shape of the helix; a bacterium has circular DNA.

 

Play DNA on your fridge!

Screen Shot 2020-07-06 at 3.05.48 pm copy

  • Astro Morphs are an audio-visual collaboration initiated in 2016 by Perth duo James Doohan and Bianca Sharkey, operating under the pseudonyms Yow and Sox.

    James Doohan graduated from Edith Cowan University (ECU) with a Honours Degree in Visual Arts in 2006. He has since participated in several group exhibitions including the Hatched National Graduate Exhibition at Perth Institute of Contemporary Art (2007) and Coming Unstuck at Free Range Gallery (2015). In collaboration with Perth music label Badminton Bandit, Doohan released the book Mystery Meats in 2010 presenting a collection of his drawings and poster designs.

    Bianca Sharkey is currently studying a Bachelor of Biomedical Science at ECU after graduating with a Bachelor of Communications (Major in Scriptwriting and Minor in Creative Writing) also at ECU in 2011. Sharkey has also previously trained in classical ballet (Vaganova method) and performed as a songwriter.

    Astro Morphs was nominated for Best Musical at its debut at Fringe World Festival Perth, in 2017. In January 2018 part two Astro Morphs: Crash land was performed at the Blue Room Theatre. The third instalment, Astro Morphs: Ascension, was part of an installation at Cool Change Contemporary Gallery, Perth, WA, 2018; Art not Apart festival, at the National Film and Archive, ACT, 2019; Other Suns: Sci-Fi Cult Cinema & Art, Fremantle Art Centre, WA, 2019; and Chin Chin Wall of Art, Melbourne, 2019. In late 2019 Astro Morphs performed at Pig Melon Art Gallery in support of Manta Ray Martin. Astro Morphs: Ctrl+H is currently in development and will be displayed in an exhibition at Heathcote Cultural Precinct in May 2020.

    Astro Morphs continues to release zines via the Sticky Institute (Melbourne) and a webcomic on Instagram.

  • INSTRUCTIONS

    Download the written instructions here.

    Watch the instruction video here.