iCRAG, the SFI Research Centre for Applied Geosciences, will today attend the virtual exhibition opening of the STEAM Art Collaboration, and the public are invited to join this unique evening event hosted by Science Foundation Ireland. This new initiative aims to inspire and engage people with research through five commissioned artworks which unite the disciplines of art and science using STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths). These will be presented to the public at the opening, taking place virtually on the evening of the 20th May.
iCRAG researchers Dr Mark Coughlan, Eoghan Daly and Andy Trafford worked in collaboration with artist Liing Heaney on "Caibleadh", a VR 3D animated film which explores the otherworldly environment of the ocean. Using engaging colours, textures, objects, and sound, the viewer is positioned in the place of a scientific instrument. The viewer follow its descent into the sea to explore an unknown and alien world. This is inspired by the research process of iCRAG where researchers deploy instruments at the surface of the water and record their descent into the unknown.
Speaking about the exhibition, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD said, “I’m delighted to see this new collaboration between artists and researchers. This exhibition fuses art with science by exploring and interpreting a number of key scientific topics. I would encourage people to attend the virtual exhibition- this is a unique opportunity to engage with both the researchers and artists involved. I want to pay tribute to all involved; it is important that we work together to find new way to engage with research.”
The virtual exhibition opening will invite attendees to explore the collection and engage in a short series of In Conversation pieces with each team of artists and researchers to uncover the stories behind each artwork and to delve into the collaborative workings of each team. Attendees are further invited to explore the 3D virtual exhibition space which will remain open over the summer months. It promises to be an evening filled with insights into the fusion of research and art and the possibilities this presents.
Dr Ruth Freeman, Director of Science for Society, Science Foundation Ireland said: “This new collaboration provides the public with access to science in an engaging and educational environment, highlighting the many important connections between science and the arts. The five artists have interpreted their concepts in a variety of exciting ways which are informed by research but are not purely explanatory in nature. The aim of the initiative is to captivate and inspire people to learn more and I would like to congratulate all those involved in creating these works of art.”
Dr Fergus McAuliffe, iCRAG Public Engagement Manager said: "Much of our research takes place in the sea, from the shallows of the Irish Sea to deep marine canyons in the Atlantic Ocean offshore Ireland. Our researchers Dr Mark Coughlan, Eoghan Daly and Andy Trafford use cutting-edge technology in the fields of seismics and acoustics to image the seabed for areas suitable for renewable wind energy farms, understand how the sea and seabed change over time, and deliver greater insight into the environment and behaviour of marine mammals.
"The artistic interpretation of our work created by Liing Heaney allows the viewer to experience our work from a unique, immersive viewpoint. Taking the viewer from the surface of the sea all the way down to the sea bed Liing’s artistic piece expertly brings light to an environment of darkness and sound to a place of echoes, murmurs and stillness. The piece is perfect for primary school learners to experience life in the deep sea and how our researchers are exploring its mysteries."
The public virtual exhibition will run for three months from Thursday 20th May, with an evening exhibition opening taking place on this date from 7-9 p.m.
An ISL Interpreter will be present for the duration of the event and registration for this event is available via: https://bit.ly/3cVVfms.
Following the exhibition all five art pieces, the 3D exhibition space and information on the projects and their associated resources will be available at: http://www.sfi.ie/engagement/art-collaboration/.
The project is funded under SFI’s Discover Primary Science and Maths programme, and in part by The Arts Council.