Postcard from the edge of Art and Science
Increasingly fascinated with the connections between Art and Science, I was delighted to secure a place on Edinburgh University’s ASCUS* Art and Science on a Postcard 2021 event which took place earlier this year over three consecutive weekends.
During Week 1, after receiving a Welcome Pack full of goodies – which included a very small piece of card on which to create an artwork!, the ten participants were matched into pairs comprising one artist and one scientist during a rapid networking session – a bit like speed-dating and great fun! My partner, a Phd Translational Neuroscientist, and I immediately hit it off. A week of intensive communication followed in preparation, our brief: to distill an idea of conversation onto an A6 postcard using anything from mixed media to digital technology, written word and audio visual.
Both my partner and I are fascinated with biological complexity, with the small yet crucial elements of life which are often taken for granted, which are hidden. One of the images we shared, of the double helix, immediately resonated and I decided to make a piece based on its incredible intricate form. I also wanted to work out from the surface of the postcard, reflecting a desire for physical artwork, for materiality, resulting perhaps from lengthy periods of lock-down preventing human connection and over-reliance on the digital, virtual world.
My piece, double, complex (see fig.1.) aims to work as a visual connection between art and science and how the two disciplines can enrich our knowledge and understanding. The pairing of colours references the four bases of DNA: adenine, thymine, cytosine and guanine. I transposed the language of science into poetic text by incorporating 4-word phrases e.g. complex treasure giving answers, connections allow greater thinking. Each word begins with the letters A,T,C,G which is intended to add a spiritual humanising element that is important to the understanding of science.
Week 3 provided opportunity to showcase all the participants’ creations, share our experience of the collaborative process, consolidate connections made with others during the three -week events and to discuss ideas for future projects.
It was icing on the cake to hear that the work my collaborative partner and I created is to be on permanent display at Edinburgh University!
ASCUS: a non-profit organisation dedicated to bridging the gap between the arts and sciences with the aim of reaching new and wider audiences. https://www.ascus.org.uk/about/
Visit my blog here – https://spaces.oca.ac.uk/kymcoratinpainting2/category/assignments/postcard-from-the-edge-of-art-and-science/
List of Illustrations:
- Fig.1. Walker, K. (2021) double, complex [Photograph] In possession of: The author: Hertfordshire
- Fig.2. Walker, K. (2021) ASCUS Welcome Pack [Photograph] In possession of: The author: Hertfordshire
- double, complex degree view (2021) [Online video] At: https://vimeo.com/635776871 (Accessed 19/10/2021)
13 thoughts on “Postcard from the edge of Art and Science”
What an exciting event! Thank you for sharing, I really like the idea of a collaboration between Art and Science and how you and your scientist connected to create such an interesting piece.
Thank you so much Maira. You may be interested in joining the OCA ArtScientific Collaborative: https://oca.padlet.org/kym515595/wx6xnujp69xv558k (we have ongoing projects/seasonal exhibition Padlets/exciting art/scientist guest speakers lined up for 2022!). Any/all new members most welcome – no science background required.)
That sound really exciting. Thank you Kim, will definitely join
Brilliant work Kym and many congratulations to you and your partner in this.
Thank you Catherine, it was a wonderful enriching opportunity/collaboration.
Great to see Kym – congrats on a great collaboration.
Thank you so much Helen!
Congratulations Kym! For a long time I’ve maintained that there’s a strong correlation between artists and scientists. Both experiment and advance incrementally (Eureka! moments are rare). Both need imagination and latetal thinking to progress. Both learn as much from failures as from sucesses. My personal research has been on the overlaps between vision, perception, recognition and representations of time.
Thank you so much Derek! Yes, I totally agree re Art and Science connections – the more I discover then the more I want to learn! Your research sounds fascinating – time is a lovely thing to contemplate.
Wow Congratulations Kym!! I love how you combined poetic text and the letters -brilliant!!! And how about that permanent display! I am so glad for you and your partner! It would be lovely to see photos of the piece installed at Edinburgh University. (I have no idea if it is nearby you or not – just that it would be lovely to see!) =)
Thank you Therese! It was such a lovely stimulating – and fun thing to do. Yes, will be lovely to have photos to see the work in situ soon as it’s all up and running.
I admire your ability to think in three dimensions in this way Kym. The piece appeals to my desire for neatness and clean lines. The poetry of the concept, colours and writings stand out. Congratulations on your success with this project.
Ah thank you so much Helen (my work tends to be either really neat/clean or very messy!)