Creativity and Curiosity : Exploring the space in-between astronomers and artists.

Lochhead, A.; McFarland, G.; Parkin, I.; Mistry, D.; Bowmaker, J. Barstow, M. A.; Crawford, C.; Haworth, T. J.; Trotta, R.

Creativity and Curiosity, 2 is an ongoing collaboration between artists and astrophysicists. Active engagement through face-to-face discussions has helped inspire a growing body of artwork that is being exhibited across the UK, and is also proposed in a separate abstract to feature here in Santiago for the “Road to the Stars” conference.

We propose a talk giving an overview of the process and outcomes of the collaboration. We will discuss the artist-astrophysicist interaction process, the impact it has had on the resulting artwork, as well as on the astrophysicists perspective of their own work. We will also discuss the impact of extending the collaboration to the exhibitions themselves, where the attendance of both the artists and astrophysicists yields a somewhat unique environment for the public. Discussion of a piece with both the artists/scientists offers a means of experiencing and understanding abstract concepts in a more accessible way.

The result is both enhanced artwork and communication/outreach of astrophysical phenomena. It also gives the astronomers and artists alike a refreshing view of their own practice. We wish to share the success of this collaboration at “Road to the Stars” to encourage others to engage in direct dialogue with researchers.

Figure 1: An example piece in paper by Gillian McFarland. The concentric rings of discrete points are much like the features of dust grains being observed in protoplanetary discs, such as the famous rings of HL Tau.

Figure 1: An example piece in paper by Gillian McFarland.
The concentric rings of discrete points are much like the features of dust grains being observed in protoplanetary discs, such as the famous rings of HL Tau.

References
1. Ione Parkin, Alison Lochhead, Gillian McFarland; Creativity and curiosity: when art meets science. A&G 2016; 57 (6): 6.28-6.31. doi: 10.1093/astrogeo/atw222
2. https://www.creativityandcuriosity.com