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In Conversation: Viewing the Invisible: Live portrait-painting & panel discussion exploring creativity in art and science

15 September 2019, 15:00

Ondaatje Wing Theatre

Tickets: £10 (£8 concessions and Gallery Supporters) Book online, or visit the Gallery in person.

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Viewing the Invisible brings together scientists and artists to explore the similarities in their working methods. A panel of science-influencers and artists will discuss the common ground between scientific and artistic approaches to exploring the underpinnings of identity as artist Ann Witheridge gives a live portrait painting demonstration working from sitter Professor Dame Janet Thornton.

Through the close study of shapes and constituent parts, scientists and artists alike seek to demystify the human form. This shared approach challenges the popularly held belief that science and art exist at polar ends of a spectrum. Viewing the Invisible showcases the ways in which both disciplines work together, exploring how scientists and artists can support each other in disseminating research and enriching creativity. As part of the project, contributors to the promotion and practice of science had their portraits painted, whilst discussing common ground with the respective artists. An accompanying exhibition is at Bush House, South Wing, Strand WC2B 4RJ from 2 September to 20 September. Please see details here.

Professor Dame Janet Thornton is a world renowned scientific leader whose early career was rooted in structural biology.  Professor Dame Janet is widely credited, alongside others, with the establishment of a new scientific field of Bioinformatics (an interdisciplinary field of science that combines biology, computer science, information engineering, mathematics and statistics to analyze and interpret biological data). She holds a PhD from the UK National Institute for Medical Research & King’s College.

Ann Witheridge studied Art History at Christ's College Cambridge and has been teaching drawing and painting in the atelier tradition for twenty years. She founded London Fine Art Studios, where she teaches a growing number of artists. She writes for art periodicals and leads workshops and painting demonstrations in Museums across London.

Maria Moorwood studied Modern Languages at Cambridge and has since worked in the Cultural and Heritage sector, in the UK and abroad.  Throughout this time she has sought to bring diverse disciplines, institutions and cultures together in a spirit of collaboration and mutual enrichment.  She is currently Head of Development at Modern Art Oxford.

Dr Megan Dowie is the Interim Head of Molecular and Cellular Medicine at the Medical Research Council (part of UK Research and Innovation), the main government research funder of biomedical research. Prior to working in research management, Megan completed her PhD in Pharmacology at the University of Auckland and held a research fellowship at the University of Oxford studying neurodegenerative diseases. Throughout her scientific career, Megan has been involved in science outreach activities, with a particular interest in the interface between science and art.

Clementine St. John Webster trained at London Fine Art Studios, after graduating in Biological Sciences from Oxford University. Her work encompasses both disciplines and ranges from African landscapes to horse racing scenes and detailed paintings of bees and other insects. She was selected to paint a portrait for Oxford University to celebrate the diversity of their talent. She has recently had a solo exhibition at Osborne Studio Gallery, London.

Dr Rivka Isaacson is Senior Lecturer in Chemical Biology at King’s College London. She gained her Ph.D. from Cambridge University and carried out post-doctoral research at Harvard Medical School and Imperial College London before starting her own lab in 2009, using biophysical techniques to explore protein quality control and antimicrobial resistance. She is a passionate interdisciplinarian involved in many exciting projects combining arts and sciences.

This event is in partnership with King's College London, London Fine Art Studios and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council. 

Priority booking for Gallery Members is open now. Public booking will open on Thursday 8 August 2019.

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