ASCUS Art & Science 2019 Wrap Up

After a rewarding Christmas break, we’d like to reflect on an exciting year. 760 of you visited ASCUS Lab for a variety of purposes last year. We are grateful you chose to spend time with us in 2019. Here’s what we got up to in 2019.

Art & Science on a Postcard & Festival of Creative Learning

In January and October, we were delighted to host Art & Science on a Postcard for the 2nd and 3rd  time with our partner InterSci. 40 artists and scientists paired up and produced works exhibited in Festival of Creative Learning’s Exhibition in February and later in the year as part of the Midlothian Science Festival. Later in February, 54 people joined us for 3 fantastic Festival of Creative Learning workshops exploring antimicrobial resistance, soil archaeology and crystallography.

Quantum physicist Alex and visual artist Liz ‘postcard’ from Midlothian Science Festival’s, ‘Art & Science on a Postcard’ workshop, October 2019./
Imagery from The Hidden World of Crystals Festival of Creative Learning Workshop, February 2019/

Science Festival, Biodesign Lab & Happy Birthday Us

In Spring we hosted workshops creatively exploring heart and kidney health, devised with researchers as part of our public engagement training programme with BHF Centre of Research Excellence. 50 people joined these workshops which we showcased in Edinburgh Science Festival and British Science Week. 26 joined us for our 2 artist-led Science Festival workshops, exploring genetic modification and bio textiles with, artist Louise Mackenzie and fashion designer, Aurelie Fontan. Joined by artists Russell Beard and Stephen Kavanagh, they presented work as part of Metamorphosis, this year’s Science Festival exhibition co-curated by Summerhall and ourselves. Biodesign Lab was an ASCUS first hosted in May with academic partners from across Edinburgh and London. With 20 students from across the UK, we explored future bio innovation. Spring ended on a high with our 11th birthday celebration in May. An army of you joined us to celebrate and watch our specially commissioned film.

Brewing tea for kombucha in fashion designer, Aurelie Fontan’s  Science Festival biotextile workshop, Apr 2019/
Biohacked prototype dogs for our BioDesign Lab workshop, May 2019/
Our delicious Birthday party for our 11th birthday celebrations, May 2019/

Summer of Pop-Ups

In Summer we hosted our first climbing pop up workshop, creatively exploring our hearts with 13, 10 -17 year old climbers at Eden Rock. This was followed by another pop-up workshop in Edinburgh Fringe for more heart action with BHF Scotland. Lub Dub, Sense the Beat delved into a sensory experience of the heart, bringing our training programme with the BHF Centre of Research Excellence to a close.

Eden Rock pop workshop with 10 – 17-year-olds, The heArt of Climbing, June 2019./
Drawing to our heart’s beat in our fringe workshop with BHF Scotland, Aug 2019/

Snow Science, AMR & Christmas Crystals

In autumn, we hosted our take on a ‘snow day’ in ASCUS Lab, ‘Snow Shift: Reimagining Snow Science’. We explored creative responses to snow science with scientists and artists. We held workshop, Resist or Coexist on European Anti Microbial Awareness Day 2019 in November welcoming 8 people to creatively explore microbes. We rounded off the year making digital art with liquid crystals in our first seasonal workshop, Christmas Crystals, part of our last open session of 2019.

Collaborative alpine landscape designed by participants of our Snow Science workshop, Sept, 2019/
Exploring our microbiomes in AMR workshop, Resist or Coexist, Nov 2019/
Creating digital art with liquid crystals for our Christmas workshop, Dec 2019/

We also worked tirelessly on new partnerships and funding opportunities. We look forward to exciting new projects next year. We’d like to raise a glass to more creativity, experimentation and discovery with you all in the future.

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