- School/Institute/Department: School of Medicine & Dentistry, Blizard Institute
- Subjects: Art, Neuroscience
- Audience: General Public
Art Neuro was a 4 day program of activities bringing together art and science. The central event was an exhibition of artwork featuring pieces formed from the result of 4 month collaborations between 16 pairs of artists and neuroscientists as well as 3 interactive visual illusion installations.
Leading up to the exhibition the programme also hosted a series of workshops and talks. These included an interactive memory experiment, a number of screen printing workshops which intercalated with a lesson in brain evolution, knit-a-neuron sessions, a mental health panel discussion, a brain-themed poetry evening, a “synaesthesia” cocktail night and numerous SciBar events – which featured talks by artists and scientists.
The main exhibition was free and attracted over 1000 participants, encouraging the public to directly engage with current neuroscience topics by speaking to the artists and scientists who were present to talk about their experiences of science with the artwork acting as the starting point for debate and conversation.
Another element to the project was the multi-disciplinary collaborations between artists and scientists themselves. Through their partnerships, both groups learned about the other's way of working, learning how to better communicate their work to others, challenging stereotypes and learning more about what others find interesting about their work. The projects have also yielded results outside of the creation of artworks, with new collaborations planned, existing work being used for charity and to crowdsource funding for further research, as well as one collaboration developing new diagnostic methods using the deconstructed objects created by the artist.
Neuroscience is an increasingly important area of science and is used in today’s medicine for life saving work into areas such as brain disorders, imagery and addiction. However, outside of the scientific and medical community there is still much unknown about the developments in this subject and what they mean for the wider public. ArtNeuro sought to create new audiences by using creative ways to open science to the public eye to catch their attention and raise awareness.
The exhibition has since toured to Edinburgh as part of the International Science Festival and plans to create a new set of artwork in its next project 'ArtNecro'. Its lasting legacy has been the creation of a network of multidisciplinary artists and scientists who are continuing to collaborate to produce valuable work, methods and resources for both artists and scientists.
For more information on ArtNeuro and their latest incarnation as ArtNecro you can visit their website, or follow them on Facebook and Twitter. The Centre for Public Engagement also wrote a blog post on their visit to the exhibition on its opening day.
This project was funded by a CPE Large Award.