From it’s first launch exhibition of work by Emma Hambly, a scientist turned artist in 2008 to a pop up exhibition and project space in the St James’s Shopping Centre in 2012, showcasing the results of the Edinburgh Beltane Public Engagement Network’s Beacon for Public Engagement grants scheme, over 10 years ASCUS Art & Science has put a lot of energy into showcasing what art-science collaboration can produce.
Parallel Perspectives, Summerhall, 2015 Science Festival
In 2014 ASCUS launched its first art-science micro residency programme. For this the University of Strathcylde’s Chamberlain Group hosted 10 artists over our 4 days which resulted in Hunting for Answers, a pop up exhibition at Strathclyde Engage Week, for the 2014 Glasgow Science Festival in 2014.
Image courtesy of Guy Hinks
Image courtesy of Guy Hinks
In the same year they launched their second micro-residency seeing 4 new artists explore current research in the University is Edinburgh’s Centre for Immunity, Infection and Evolution. The project culminated in the exhibition Transmissions and was showcased, alongside the work from Hunting for Answers, to the general public within the group exhibition Parallel Perspectives. This exhibition also saw ASCUS collaborate with the london based curators of Art Neuro bringing this independent art-science project to Edinburgh audiences. This was all part of the 2015 Edinburgh International Science Festival and the beginning of ASCUS’s new partnership with Europe’s largest Science Festival. We have co-curated the festival’s visual arts programme with Summerhall Visual Arts and the Science Festival teams ever since. Parrallel Perspectives was subsequently displayed in LifeSpace Science Art Research Gallery, Dundee in July 2015 and in Tent Gallery at Edinburgh College of Art in November 2015.
In 2015, we launched Atopic Art: Expressions of Eczema, a participatory art project working with Dr Sarah Brown of the University of Dundee and Eczema Outreach Scotland exploring the science of eczema and living with eczema. It involved collaboration with 2 artists delivering workshops Eczema Outreach Scotland events across Scotland from Edinburgh to Glasgow to Inverness. This was followed by ASCUS’s third micro-residency with two new artists taking up residence in Professor Sara Brown’s skin genetic research Laboratory at the University of Dundee which culminated in Beyond Skin, an exhibition held at the LifeSpace Science Art Science Research Gallery in Dundee in 2017.
This year we worked with the Edinburgh International Science Festival for the 6th time to co-produce Synthetica, an exhibition for which 5 artists explored a topical issue about how our notions of the natural and the artificial may need to change. Our 7th collaborative exhibition with the Science Festival and Summerhall opens in April next year.
Synthetica, 2018. Image courtesy of Ting-Tong Chang – P’eng’s Journey to the Southern Darkness (2016)
ASCUS Art & Science is at the forefront of art science residencies in Scotland and has helped place many artists within labs and research centres in Scotland. We understand and believe in how working with artists can showcase cutting edge scientific research in thought provoking and engaging ways, which bring new perspectives to how we think about, see and engage with our own bodies and the world around us.