Into New Territory

Intro by Emily Grieve
2nd February 2015

Petra Schneider and Eleanor Silvester of the SBS Press Gang have been tracking the artist’s progress so far. Here is what they had to say along with some interesting insights from artists Mark Doyle and Anne Milne who have been busy visiting a number of labs and getting to know the scientists better.

by Petra Schneider and Eleanor Silvester

After a short time of orientation, the artists-in-residence are getting started with their individual projects. In the past weeks they have attended seminars, visited labs and met many scientists, which enabled them to get a broad view of the work done in CIIE.

Anne Milne, who is a film maker, tells us the latest news. Anne was excited about the variety of work done in CIIE, the processes involved in gathering data and how data – often enormous lists of numbers – are visualised.

01tunnel[1]Photo by Anne Milne

‘’We had a very interesting conversation with Prof Manfred Auer about his research, his previous life in industry, and he showed us around his lab which was all brought over with him from Austria, including the special tables. It really did feel like the future.”- Anne Milne

Anne visited various labs, observing the work done in CIIE, ranging from highly modern genomics to number-crunching, and science as it was traditionally displayed to the world: the Frankenstein image of bubbling green liquids (algae cultures) and monstrous beasties (have a look at some insects under the microscope!) – completed by the scientists’ thrill of discovering something that they did not know before.

‘’Later on Friday, I went wandering through the lab with my special lens to try and capture some interesting footage. I came upon Tom Godfrey, a young PhD ecologist who studies bees. Quite a change from mosquitoes! And he has many cases full of samples he has collected from a special flowering meadow down south.”- Anne Milne

Whereas Anne has worked with scientists before, the scientific world of CIIE with its fundamental and applied research, its live organisms and wet-labs is a new and exciting world. Anne has now spent some time exploring the scientific world, started gathering some film material to help her form ideas for her work, and she will start setting up her studio in the next few days. The next stage is to arrange to interview the scientists working in CIIE.

Micoscope drawing
Photo by Mark Doyle

Mixed media artist Mark Doyle has also been immersing himself in the research done in CIIE. He has become particularly interested in the centre’s malaria research. He has observed live parasites with Sarah Reece’s group and looked at mosquitoes with Sam Rund. He is fascinated by the complex life cycle of the parasite, as well as the historic aspect of the disease – malaria parasites have been infecting humans for a long, long time!

‘’with the help of Sam Rund I got the chance to draw some live Anopheles mosquitoes down a microscope. This was a rare opportunity to practice the type of representational drawing that many scientists used to document their observations of the microscopic world prior to the invention of the camera.’’- Mark Doyle

Full of inspiration from his lab visits, Mark will now start to read more about malaria in preparation for starting his new art work.

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