Brona McVittie sums up :: June 2008

“Sparkly”, “intelligent” and “well thought out” were just a few of the words used by UK school-children to describe artwork created by their peers as part of the first Scopic project, exhibited at the Royal Albert Hall in May 2008.

The exhibition has since moved to Durham University’s Calman Learning Centre. Both the artworks and their soundtracks, created by schools in association with composer Duncan Chapman, can be experienced online at the Scopic gallery

Scopic is an arts project designed to inspire young people with the beauty and wonder of science. We hope that students, who wouldn’t otherwise choose science, might re-evaluate their perception of biology, chemistry or physics as boring.

The MRC Clinical Sciences Centre funded the development of an engaging website and computer game featuring Sir Patrick Moore. The stunning array of imagery, from supernovas to stem cells, was kindly provided by scientists all over the world. Astronomical and biological counterparts were paired together on the basis of their visual similarity. See the Pairs

The first Scopic competition and exhibition were organised in association with the Royal Albert Hall and Durham University. Twelve schools in Durham and London were invited to create artwork inspired by both inner and outer space. Students chose a starting image and responded by creating a Scopic partner.

Winning entries were selected by an illustrious panel of judges including Dr Brian May and Lord Robert Winston. Lord Winston awarded Scopic prizes to exhibitors at the Royal Albert Hall (podcast) and congratulated students adding “Art and science aren’t separate. They’re both part of something that is very special to mankind: human conciousness.”

Nine year old Emily C from Newker Primary School scooped the best microscopic prize for her creation: the Tonsilrainbowlitis Virus, a response to the spirograph nebula. Lakshmi Piette and Catherine Duffell of St Godrics Primary School were awarded best telescopic work for their imaginative Red Hole, a response to human skin cells.

Baroness Susan Greenfield, a Scopic competition judge, said “Scopic successfully bridges the gap between science and art. The creative response from UK school-children reflects the effectiveness of cross-platform approaches to education. Scopic is an inspiration. Let’s hope it makes more young pupils interested in science as a subject.”

Through the Epigenome Network of Excellence, Scopic will hopefully take a tour of Europe.

Contact the curator to find out more...