Big Science II

Exploring creative process within a scientific framework

Throughout the whole process of making, there have been aspects of experimentation, documentation, modification, refinement, reflection and response that mirror scientific process. Instruments of precise measurement, notebook and pens, lepidopterist’s collecting boxes and stamp collecting envelopes are evocative of care, detail, documentation, the recording and saving of precious items of value to be preserved for the future. This is pertinent to both the science and the art and craft to which the piece references.

Within my work there are elements designed to draw people in physically such as through the making of wire figures. I am always intrigued at what people bring of themselves into the viewing of artwork; the physical act of making drawing the viewer in further through active participation and contribution. Personally, I like the physicality of making and the therapeutic sensation that becomes absorbing pre-occupation. What I’ve realised from observing and speaking to the many people who have now taken part is that this is a material and method of universal appeal.

As an artist, my role isn’t to explain the science but rather to encourage an act of questioning and of provoking thought about some of the themes I am exploring within my art and its processes.

Wire Figure Making

I have made 1000 armatures so far and made 200 of these into figures before inviting other people to take part. Around 600 have been transformed into figures by members of the public and various groups. My plan is to continue inviting people to participate in the hope that this will develop into a much larger collective mass.

Contributions so far have been from:

  • Staff at the Medical Research Council’s Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics
    Members of The Gate's Philosophy Cafe
    Visitors to the MA Arts and Health show at Glamorgan University
    Cardiff’s Dorkbot community (The Dorkbot global network is made up of groups of people doing strange things with electricity!)
    Visitors to the Bench to Brain exhibition at BayArt Cardiff
    Conference delegates of the Genomics Network 2012 conference London
    Various other members of the public.