Art-Scientific:  A student collective. Are you interested? - The Open College of the Arts
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Art-Scientific:  A student collective. Are you interested?

Art-Scientific is a cross-discipline collective recently set up by a group of OCA students interested in exploring scientific themes within their art practice. The aims of the collective are to provide a forum for discussion and exchange of ideas, encourage and promote group collaborations and to provide friendly informal support and inspiration amongst its members. The group is open to any student with an interest in exploring links and connections between art and science: you do not need to have a scientific background to join, just a desire to connect with, or understand further, aspects of science useful to your own art practice. 

We currently have members of the group exploring concepts surrounding diverse scientific areas such as neurology, emergent computer technologies, psychology, medical imaging and animal and plant physiology. Others are exploring more material aspects, such as fluidity, light transmission, and energy transfer. Kym Walker, a level 2 painting student, initiated the collective when she realised her studies using fluid materials produced outcomes steeped in biological ideas.  Kym, whose background is completely non-science based, has since begun exploring using the pigment chlorophyll in her work (Figure 1). 

“My initial experiments using juiced greens weren’t successful – the vibrant colour rapidly turned brown, solids separated from liquid. Then one of our artist-biologists explained a method of chlorophyll extraction using Isopropyl alcohol whilst further discussions on preserving chlorophyll sparked ideas for developing my work: direct proof of the benefits of sharing and learning, that the collective really works!”

Figure 1 ‘Suspending Green’. Chlorophyll, alcohol, test-tube and nylon thread (Walker, K., 2021)

If you are interested in making connections between art and science, then the group welcomes any student of any discipline and at any level to join the collective. Follow the link below to the Art-Scientific Padlet and add your name and email address in the pinned post. This will ensure the meeting link is sent to you. There are no deadlines, no pressures, just relaxed, informal meetings that you can drop in on when convenient. The group meets on the first Saturday of each month. The next meeting is Saturday 1 May at 10.30am (UK time – other times can be arranged if there is demand, please contact the group). 

Art-Scientific Padlet: https://oca.padlet.org/kym515595/c5mx7v8fho6vnd2b

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Posted by author: Anna Pike
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12 thoughts on “Art-Scientific:  A student collective. Are you interested?

  • I’d love to join but the link prompts only an IT system message which says ‘You shall not pass’ and OCA staff and students only (I am). This is a continuing problem for me and the OCALearn system 😔 . Jennifer522233

  • Would love to join. I am an analytical chemist, who is also studying textiles! Lots of my work (outside uni, admittedly) is botanical based.
    I get the ‘thou shall not pass message too …

  • If any students are interested in joining but are having difficulties accessing the padlet please make sure to try the updated version posted by Kym in the comments. If you are still having difficulties please leave a comment below and we will get in touch with you directly. Thanks

  • Hi,
    This sounds like a really interesting group that I would like to join. Unfortunately the link isn’t working – it says that the padlet is archived. The alternative link says ‘you shall not pass’. My email is esther522255.
    Thanks!

  • I would love to join this group too, but also cannot access via either link even though I am logged in. Thanks!

  • Hi Kym (and others) – I’m thrilled to see this group. I am a biologist – at level 1 I thought my art-making was altogether separated from that background (ha) – but now at level 2 I find that my core interest seep into and even begin to dominate my way of working. So I’d love to join. I found the padlet via Anna link and tried to add my name to list (could only acces the comment – so that was where I placed my name). Thanks Inger Weidema

  • Hi! I’m interested in this – I’ve got a Phd in earth sciences and my stuff was on geochemistry and orbital forcing. I find that it comes up a lot in my learning log – I think I’ve missed your first session but I’d love to be added to the group.

  • I am so pleased this collective is getting off the ground so brilliantly. OCA is a natural transdisciplinary space and this is the perfect kind of collective for us to explore ideas and making in a really high-level way that many other colleges would struggle to access. Between us we have a range of expertise that is astonishing. I would love to see many more of these collectives being set up to explore all the fascinating areas we cover in our work within and outside OCA. Well done to the group’s pioneers.

  • Hi, I’d love to be part of this group. I’m a Vis Coms student and a veterinary nurse. I’ve logged in and tried both links but I can’t get through. Can you let me in?

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