The Independent carries a story headed with:
Where’s the science at Cultural Olympiad, asks Lord Winston
The fertility expert Lord Winston said it was “shocking” that science seemed to have been “largely neglected”. “I think it’s shameful,” said the IVF pioneer. “If you’re having a Cultural Olympiad, not to see science as part of that culture is something which is incredibly backward.”
We’d love to have a conversation with Lord Winston about this. ExLab is definitely working with scientists and has been doing so since the first ExLab in 2010. The artists commissioned to present works this summer began their research in October and explored many geological wonders with scientists – pseudomorphs, inferior oolite, Portland Screws, chalk down, Portland beds, quarrys, Lidar scanning, DORis scanning, the list could fill this page!
We have held two internal dialogue days, which were attended by artists, scientists and partner organisations, during which the most fascinating and wonderful discussions took place. All parties benefitted from this rich engagement. The artists gained access to scientific thought processes, technologies and knowledge, whilst the scientists were heard to exclaim “wow, I want to get really involved with him (one of the artists) and learn to think as creatively as he does”.
Creative Coast, a Jurassic Coast initiative, has been crucial in developing this art:science collaboration. Like geology, these relationships take time to develop, and I think it fair to say we have a rich bed of strata developing here in Dorset. We believe these exchanges are key to how we work – we allow time for partners to walk the landscape together, share stories, and begin to understand each other’s practice. Some intriguing outcomes will be found at various locations across Dorset between 28th July and 9th September.
On 9th July we have an exhibition opening at AUCB, Bournemouth. Lord Winston, maybe you can join us on Thursday 12th at 5pm for a discussion panel about arts and science, you’d be more than welcome. The exhibition will present some finished works by each artist, but also works in progress – ideas that evolved via the research with earth scientists, notebooks and images of findings along the way.
If we have any money left at the end of the delivery period we’ll be doing a public dialogue day, to share the whole experience with audiences. Watch this space!
And keep asking questions….