January 28, 2011

Another variation on the art/science fusion theme

Most examples of science-inspired art that we've highlighted on this blog consist of individual scientists doing something artistic or individual artists making art about science. A neat article from the University of Washington highlights something a bit different: an exhibit of 36 artists, ALL of whom worked with scientists to create weather-related pieces.
Seattle artist Scott Schuldt worked with [UW atmospheric scientist Celia] Bitz, whose climate research focuses on the Arctic. Schuldt, who quit an engineering career in 2005 to concentrate on art, and Bitz created "The Melt," beadwork on a canvas anorak modeled after those worn by early Arctic explorers and based on Inuit designs. The anorak was sized to fit Bitz and the beadwork represents various aspects of her work in the Arctic.

"For me, the inspiration comes in seeing the focused and very important work that Cecilia is engaged in. It's just fascinating stuff," Schuldt said. "Scientists wear their work on their sleeves, so to speak, so it wasn't that big of an artistic jump to clothe a scientist in her own work."

...Such collaborations between artists and scientists can be beneficial to both, Bitz believes, but it also gives the viewer a different way of perceiving science.

"Visualizing science through art offers a way to communicate science on a different level than most of us experience from lectures or textbooks," she said. "Through art, scientists can share the beauty that inspires us along our journey to understand the natural world."

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