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Art & science



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Throughout history, many famous artists have also been scientists, pushing the creative boundaries of invention with their work. How does an exploration of science impact on artistic practice, and what are the subsequent benefits of introducing a more creative process back into the scientific world?

Briony Barr is a visual artist who regularly collaborates with physicists to generate artworks, in particular large-scale drawings that explore complex systems, involving multiple participants. Leah Heiss is an artist and designer whose work explores nanotechnology and manufacturing, developing jewellery and swallowable devices that interact with the body. James Saunders’ new theatre show, Fugue, is currently in development in collaboration with neuroscientists at the Florey Neuroscience Institutes, University of Melbourne and Monash University.

Can art push the boundaries of science towards practical new real-world discoveries, and how does an experimental scientific approach enhance art? Briony, James and Leah will explore how the relationship between art and science can make the world a better place, by asking if more creative approaches from the world of art can be implemented to solve scientific problems, and vice versa. Moderated by Alicia Sometimes.

Art & us

The nature and meaning of art has been hotly debated for centuries, but in this new series for 2014, the Wheeler Centre explores the impact of art in a variety of contexts. We look at how artistic practice fits in to the many diverse aspects of everyday life, as well as how its context has a direct effect on the realms of inspiration and creation.


Briony Barr

Briony Barr is a visual artist whose practice investigates individual and collaborative rule-based drawing. As an extension of her individual process-based methodology, she regularly collaborates with scientists, as well as large groups of people, to generate artworks. In an on-going collaboration w... Read more

Leah Heiss

Leah Heiss is a Melbourne-based artist and designer whose practice is located at the nexus of art, design and science – using advanced technologies to develop potent human scale projects. Her process is deeply collaborative, working with experts from nanotechnology through to manufacturing. Cu... Read more

James Saunders

James Saunders is an actor who has appeared extensively on stage (Sydney Theatre Company, Melbourne Theatre Company, Company B Belvoir, Bell Shakespeare), on film (The Turning, Animal Kingdom) and on television (Offspring, Winners and Losers, Neighbours). James Saunders has performed with the Sydney... Read more

Alicia Sometimes

Alicia Sometimes is an Australian poet, multi-media artist and broadcaster. She has performed her spoken word at many venues, festivals and events around the world. Her poems have been in Best Australian Science Writing, Best Australian Poems, Meanjin, Griffith Review, The Age and many more. She i... Read more


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