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Manchester’s Science Festival 2015

Manchester’s Science Festival 2015 celebrated the relationship between Science and Art by encouraging collaborations between sculpture and climate change, medical imaging and illustration, biology and dance, atoms and installation, health and story telling, and micro-biology and photography. ‘Evaporation’ by Tania Kovats features three bowls containing solutions of salt and blue ink, which evaporate over time. This leaves behind a crust of salt crystals that mimics the tides of the Earth and comment on the health of our oceans. This beautiful collaboration between Art and Science has a powerful message; the scientific data alone would not have the same effect on an audience whereas the physical representation of this global issue allows viewers to interact and understand the message.

As an artist my creative inspiration comes from taking a problem and challenging it or solving it. At Manchester’s Science Festival I found myself reading the scientific findings as inspiration for projects and one theme in particular developed - ‘Inside / Outside’: So much of science is so minute or invisible that it requires artistic interpretation to communicate findings to an audience. ‘Noisy Bodies’ by Daksha Patel creates intricate pencil drawings of neurological information and audiences can view this in an artistic mindset - making the information accessible to all - this got me thinking about our own bodies. We go about our daily lives disconnected from what is happening within our bodies meaning we happily gorge ourselves on fast foods, alcohol and cigarettes with disregard of the repercussions because we can’t SEE them.

Working alongside Jess Rodnight, a first year Textiles student at MMU, we processed all our discoveries from the Science Festival and formed the basis for a collaborative project. We both were naturally drawn to art that requires audience interaction and while at the Science Museum we noticed that interactive installations were more successful at engaging an audience with the scientific information than the other exhibits. We translated this finding into our own project and noted that in order to raise awareness about the internal workings of our bodies under the theme of ‘Inside / Outside’ we would need the audience to interact and experience the information through sound, touch, smell, vision or taste.

Education is a primary part of our project: the aim is to create a relationship between our exterior and interior in order to TEACH people about what really goes on within our bodies. We talked about the idea of wearables that interact with your body and create a dialogue between you and your internal health.