An opening panel from the graphic novel A Brief History of Knowledge
An opening panel from the graphic novel A Brief History of Knowledge



2015 - 2016


A collaboration between artist David Blandy, illustrator Daniel Locke and author, broadcaster and scientist Adam Rutherford, graphic novel Out of Nothing is the natural follow up to their previous Lighthouse commission – Helix, a digital graphic novel in which a 500-year-old man tells us the story of DNA’s discovery.

David Blandy and Daniel Locke working on their 200-page graphic novel, Out of Nothing, at Lighthouse
David Blandy and Daniel Locke working on their 200-page graphic novel, Out of Nothing, at Lighthouse

In Out of Nothing, we join a fiery tempered young girl, “the embodiment of our intelligence and our curiosity”, explains Daniel Locke, as she crosses time and space to tell the story of creativity, scientific discovery and human knowledge.

We first encounter the girl at the birth of the solar system. She sees the mountains and oceans come into being, the slow evolution of life on Earth. Later she awakes in a Palaeolithic cave, listening to the campfire-lit stories of our ancestors. She works alongside a community of early farmers as they go about their business and inadvertently invent writing. She aids Johannes Gutenberg in the development of his printing press and later still she is present at CERN during the creation of the World Wide Web and the birth of hip-hop at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue in the Bronx in 1973.

The stories contained in the book are complemented by an illustrated scientific commentary provided by Adam Rutherford, which serves to highlight the close bonds between the discovery and recording of the natural world and the creative process of storytelling.

David, Daniel and Adam will develop the work throughout 2015, completing a spell in Lighthouse Studio and appearing at public events at Lighthouse and at Cheltenham Science Festival.

The book will be published in 2016.

A page from the Lighthouse-supported digital comic book ‘Helix’


David Blandy
David Blandy works with the image in the digital world, producing video, performance, installation and comics, that he says are “highlighting our relationship with popular culture and investigating what makes us who we are”. Previous works include the film How to Make a Short Video About Extinction, in 2014 and Anjin 1600: Edo Wonderpark, a large scale installation based upon a re-imagining of the story of William Adams (1564-1620), a sea navigator known as the first Englishman to set foot in Japan in 1600.

Daniel Locke
Daniel Locke’s work has been extensively exhibited and published worldwide. He is currently working on his first full-length graphic novel, ’Going Home’ with publishers NoBrow, and on a comic biography of a young autistic musician, with artist Laura Malacart.

Adam Rutherford
Adam Rutherford has a PHD in Genetics, a degree in evolutionary biology and is an honorary research fellow at UCL.

A renowned science broadcaster, Adam has presented Inside Science, BBC Radio 4’s flagship science programme; The Beauty of Anatomy, on the role of human dissection in art for BBC 4; and Horizon: Playing God, about synthetic biology, for BBC 2. His most recent book, Creation (Viking 2013), concerns the origin of life, and genetic engineering and synthetic biology.

A film-fanatic, he was also science advisor on Bjork’s film Biophillia Live and worked on World War Z and most recently, Ex Machina in 2015.

Both Helix and Out of Nothing are supported by Lighthouse and The Wellcome Trust.



Sign up to our mailing list to receive regular email updates on exhibitions, events and other news.