Our judges Suki Chan, Will Hunter and Nina Chhita came together to discuss the entries of our Art Prize and University of Bath Community Art Prize. As well as artistic quality, imagination and innovation, the panel looked at how successfully entries communicated information from the world of science; this shortlist brings together those which were seen to strongly reflect, represent, capture or depict modern-day scientific phenomena as studied by academics at the University’s Faculty of Science.
I am incredibly impressed by the quality, quantity and variety of submissions this year. Being able to move this Art Prize online has opened up the doors to many more artists and provided a much-needed creative outlet during these strange times. We have certainly been inspired by and enjoyed looking through the entries.Jamie Eastman, Director of Arts & Creative Engagement
Mosaic of Nilsson’s photo of a foetus at 18 weeks. It’s made up of “Faces” of people that don’t actually exist. 10,000 fake faces were created using AI, specifically a generative adversarial network; none are of people that exist, have existed, or will ever exist. Showing the potential that’s explored by developmental biology.
Evie Edwards and Ben Sandford
I’m Feeling Lucky, 2020
A web browser automation that takes its name from Google Earth’s “I’m Feeling Lucky” button. When clicked on, the Google Earth button transports its users to one of over 20,000 random locations; utilising and repeating this function to control its user’s browser and click on the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button every 20 seconds. The result is a virtual world tour that if left to run would take over 4 days to complete.
Using a process known as Chemical Vapour Deposition (CVD) to illuminate the minerals found within the waters from Cornwall, Iceland and Bath in the quest to capture fugitive essence. The forms were photographed and mounted on an x-ray lightbox to reveal the qualities of each location. Haines is concerned with making things visible that are not normally visible to the human eye.
Jukes’ work is primarily based on genetics. Luna is a piece which reflects on the exclusively maternal transmission of mitochondrial DNA. The interlocking bodies form a line of female genealogy or matrilineage. Interlocking female bodies provide linear bony structures akin to a vertebral column with its inherent strength and stability.
30 cast concrete pebbles made with sand collected from varied locations around the UK exploring illegal sand mining for concrete production. Until the early 20th century, most building materials were locally sourced. We have lost this link with our local geology, we have no idea where our building materials come from, and what damage might have been done to extract them. The physical characteristics of sand, its size, shape and chemistry, influence the properties of the concrete.
An installation depicting the nanoscaled protein-protein interactions that lead to the creation of chlorophyll. Combining 6000 pieces of meticulously folded paper membrane, hand-welded 3D proteins and programmed led lights creating an immersive experience. METABOLON is an artistic interpretation of the chlorophyll biosynthesis pathway created by artist Seiko Kinoshita and scientist Dr Nate Adams, University of Sheffield.
Breath is part of a series which began in August 2019. Lewis is interested in the flow of breath within us, it’s ebb and flow. Using an ink solution on paper, manipulated by breath, Lewis explores the unique character of each breath and the ability of the ink to reveal it in a visible form. The repetition of breath in each work has only emphasised the differences, echoing the origin of breath in the ‘neuron choirs’ of the brain.
Emma Kate Matthews
Construction 005: Similis
This audio-visual composition serves as a representation and a simulation of the acoustic properties of the concrete interior of the Barbican centre. The music is written and produced using an acoustic impulse response; the result of which is visualised on a scrolling spectrogram.
Informed by participants’ relationship with data and inspired by mathematician Nathan Yau’s extraordinary visualisation of statistics, Datafield was produced in collaboration with science students from University of Bath. This work explores concepts of alienation and pre-destiny, as well as paradox between didactic secondary education and the overwhelming nature of virtual information systems and how these have affected individual capacity to make decisions.
Interactive installation with olive trees, soil, water, biometric sensors, light and sound. Arborometer explores the dualities in both technology – as an extension of human identity – and the natural world, encouraging the viewer to consider future ‘eco-centric’ landscapes. Each experience is unique to the individual and depicts their emotional connection to the natural environment within the dome.
A self-portrait motivated by the recent changes to the way scientific research must be carried out. Scientists are working remotely with no access to laboratories, and are having to adapt to this new situation and find new ways to do science. The work alludes to the benefits and struggles of attempting to continue chemistry research on a laptop in a living room.
Parents, and in particular female researchers have been negatively impacted by the coronavirus outbreak, more than those researchers without childcare responsibilities. “This series of photos presents the viewer with a snapshot of a typical scene, when I, as a principal investigator leading a group of PhD students and postdoctoral researchers, try to snatch a few hours at the weekend to do the job I love.”