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Exploring the synergies between art and science


Brigid Veale
28 July 2010
A unique workshop that will combine the worlds of science and art is being hosted by Southern Cross University in September.

Expressions of interest from artists and scientists from the general community and within the University are now being called to participate in the workshop, titled ‘Synergy: Science and Art @ 1+1>2’.

Organiser Dr Amanda Reichelt-Brushett, a scientist and artist, said the idea was to provide a platform where artists could engage with scientific tools of enquiry.

“Hundreds of years ago the disciplines of art and science were not nearly so strongly separated. Like two species evolving, artists and scientists have, in the last couple of hundred years, been defining their disciplines apart from each other,” Dr Reichelt-Brushett said.

“This started with the Industrial Revolution and has continued through the development of separate art and science programs in primary and secondary schools.

“We want to re-attach some of those threads to enable this multi-disciplinary approach to stay alive.”

Dr Reichelt-Brushett said the workshop would lead to an exhibition planned for December at the SCU nextart Gallery in Lismore.

“The aim is to bring artists and scientists together and develop partnerships to explore both science and arts methods of inquiry,” she said.

“Scientists are taught to have a very controlled way of thinking. This workshop will provide an opportunity for reflective thinking and some humour and playfulness.”

John Smith, course co-ordinator for the Bachelor of Visual Arts and co-convener of the workshop, will introduce scientists to art practices and said workshop participants would have the opportunity to explore and handle materials in different ways.

“It’s to do with creativity in all fields and increasing the potential for creative thinking. We want to give artists and scientists the opportunity to step outside their comfort zones,” he said.

The workshop will be held on September 4 and 5 and a limit of 30 spaces are available.

Expressions of interest should be submitted by August 1 to [email protected]. For further information contact Dr Reichelt-Brushett on 6620 3250.

Photo: Shark research nests and eggs by Amanda Reichelt-Brushett. These nests represent the protection afforded to species as a result of scientific research and the endeavour to gain a greater understanding on the life cycles of species.