Tania Kovats is renowned for producing sculptures, large-scale installations and temporal works which explore our experience and understanding of landscape. Her work was the subject of a major solo exhibition at The Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh in 2014, encompassing sculptures and drawings which explored her preoccupation with the sea. She is Course Director, MA Drawing at UAL, Wimbledon and has recently been appointed Professor of Drawing at Bath Spa University. She is also the author of ‘Drawing Water’ (2014) and ‘The Drawing Book: A Survey of Drawing – The Primary Means of Expression’ (2017).
Helen Pynor is an Australian visual artist who works at the intersection between art and the life sciences. She has degrees in both cell and molecular biology, and the visual arts, and holds a cross-disciplinary PhD from the Sydney College of Arts. She works with photography, video, sculpture and performance to explore ideas surrounding human and animal bodies, and disease. In this exclusive interview she discusses her collaborative project with Dr Iris Salecker at the Francis Crick Institute, London
In her role as Public Engagement Manager (Exhibitions) at the Francis Crick Institute, Bryony Benge-Abbott both curated and project managed ‘Deconstructing patterns’. She comes from an art and heritage background, having undertaken an undergraduate degree in Fine Art (Painting) at Bath Spa University and an MA in Museology at the University of East Anglia. Bryony joined the Crick early in 2016 to set up institute’s exhibition programme.
Werner Sun is a visual artist who lives and works in Ithaca, NY. A particle physicist by training, he makes folded paper constructions that investigate the role of pattern and abstraction in the everyday acts of observing and knowing. Werner’s practice combines elements of sculpture, photography, coding, digital printmaking, drawing, and collage.
Ian Stewart is an Emeritus Mathematics Professor at the University of Warwick and a Fellow of the Royal Society. He is author or coauthor of over 190 published research papers on pattern formation, chaos, network dynamics, and biomathematics. He has published over 120 books including ‘Does God Play Dice?’, ‘Nature’s Numbers’, ‘Why Beauty is Truth’, ‘Professor Stewart’s Cabinet of Mathematical Curiosities’, ’17 Equations that Changed the World’, ‘Infinity’, ‘Calculating the Cosmos’, and the four books of the bestselling ‘Science of Discworld’ series with Terry Pratchett and Jack Cohen. He has five honorary degrees, and his awards include the Royal Society’s Faraday Medal, the IMA Gold Medal, the AAAS Public Understanding of Science Award, the LMS/IMA Zeeman Medal, the Lewis Thomas Prize, and the Euler Book Prize. He is an honorary wizard of Unseen University on Discworld. In this exclusive interview he discusses the mathematics behind patterns in Nature.
Dr Thomas Woolley is a Lecturer in Applied Mathematics at Cardiff University. He specializes in mathematical biology, where his doctorate focused on understanding the pattern formation behind fish spots and zebra stripes. Alongside this research he now investigates mathematical models of stem cell movement. The hope is that by understanding how stem cells move we can influence them and, thus, speed up the healing process.
Dr Iris Salecker is program leader in the Division of Molecular Neurobiology at the Medical Research Council National Institute for Medical Research in London (now part of the Francis Crick Institute). Her current team studies the mechanisms underlying visual circuit assembly in Drosophila, with a special interest in axon-target and neuron-glia interactions. In this exclusive interview she discusses her ideas and work, and her collaborative project with artist, Helen Pynor, for the ‘Deconstructing Patterns’ exhibition.
Nathan Goehring is a Junior Group Leader of the Polarity and Patterning Networks Laboratory at the Francis Crick Institute and a Senior Research Associate in the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Cell Biology at UCL. He worked alongside young filmmakers from 1A Arts for the ‘Deconstructing Patterns’ exhibition. The result is a wonderfully surreal fictional narrative created by the students, which offers a metaphor for the lab’s research into the first appearance of asymmetry in the nematode worm ‘Caenorhabditis Elegans’.
“I am exploring adult fairytale narrative to develop the landscape as a dramaturgic and anthropomorphic element wherein all forms of life are connected through energy conversion, growth and decay.”
“My work is abstract, though influenced by observations of microscopic imagery. Colonies of cellular shapes migrate, flow and multiply. Clusters of orbs are tethered together in unknown universes.”