Pint of Science – Creative Reactions 2015

June 30 2015

Creative Reactions is a new art-related event organised by Cambridge Creative Network and the Cambridge Pint of Science team as the grand closure to the Pint of Science festival. This was a pilot project held in Cambridge for the first time this year where art met science with an finale show on 21st May. I was one of 55 artists involved in this unique collaboration with the Pint of Science festival. This annual event takes place over three days in the month of May simultaneously across the world, offering fun and engaging talks on the latest science research in an accessible format to the public – in the pub!

PintofScience-CreativeReactions

Each artist was paired with a scientist in order to create artwork in response to their individual talk. I was paired with scientist, Dr Iris Moeller, and her talk was entitled Rising Waters: Living on the Edge.  Iris was to cover research on rising sea levels and storm surges that threaten coastal populations with extreme coastal flooding and erosion, providing the latest scientific insights into how water flows around and over shorelines, and how these coastal regions can be protected and ‘future-proofed’.

Wave Studies
As a starting point for the project I arranged to meet up with Dr Moeller.  It was great to meet and be offered an insight into the Department of Geography of Cambridge University! After our meeting Iris sent me loads of links to projects and fieldwork her team have been working on. One of these links was video footage of a large wave flume experiment “Wave Dissipation by salt marshes under extreme water levels and waves”. This pioneering study demonstrated how salt marshes can play a key role in buffering the coastline from waves and high water levels. This seemed to particularly resonate with me both visually and as a sustainable environmental solution – I was fascinated by the movement and sway of the salt marsh plants as the waves flowed over back and forth. Thumbnail sketches and visual ideas ruminated.
Thumbnail sketches

Thumbnail sketches

Thumbnail sketch 2

Thumbnail sketch of Coastal Calm

Then, the final piece was started…and progressed…until complete

CoastalCalm-workinprogress

Coastal Calm – work in progress

Coastal Calm - oil on canvas 80 x 80cm - £850 - Limited Edition prints available

Coastal Calm – oil on canvas 80 x 80cm – £850

The Pint of Science pub talks were brilliant and then…the Creative Reactions finale show brought all the artworks together into an innovative and eclectic exhibition held at St Barnabas Church, Mill Road, Cambridge CB1 2BD. The one-day only exhibition was officially opened by the Mayor of Cambridge with music, entertainment and prizes. Proceeds from the selling exhibition went to charity partner the Arthur Rank Hospice. The finale show proved successful beyond all expectations, so Pint of Science will return next year and Creative Reactions is now very much part of this annual festival. Watch this space for updates!

CreativeReactions-finaleshow

Creative Reactions finale show to Pint of Science festival

In conclusion, this has been an amazing collaborative project. For me it has been a fascinating journey of discovery and development as an artist that has not been without its challenges along the way. Ultimately this has been a very positive and enriching experience.  I am excited to be part of this collaboration going forward.

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