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Moving Forward: Science, Engineering and Art: June 26, 2006 - September 8, 2006

To most people images of cells, computer animations or live data coming into a control room, is not art.

But an unusual exhibition at the Beldam Gallery at Brunel University in Uxbridge takes the question “What is Art?“ and gives us some remarkable replies.

The curator of university's Beldam Gallery, Alan Bennett, invited the academic staff to submit any work in that they thought might be visually interesting.

The response was unexpected. Dr Carola Koenig, a research fellow in bio-engineering, of Myddleton Road, Uxbridge, is exhibiting a model of fluid dynamics.

“The model shows two different liquids in a pipe. It creates a nice wave formation,“ said Dr Konig, who also makes stained-glass windows as a hobby, at the Brunel Arts. “The flows are highly eye-catching and very colourful. I had thought of generating a screen saver.“

Husband and wife team Dr Joanna Bridger and Dr Ian Kill, researchers from the Centre for Cell and Chromosone Biology, of Old Farm Road, West Drayton, submitted a series of images entitled “Unlocking the Cell.“

The images include cells from a pig embryo, snail chromosones and skin collagen from research into aging, stained with fluorescent dyes.

Said Dr Bridger: “In Victorian times, people studied botany and made drawings which we now view as art. This is another step. It might help the public to understand what we're doing.“

Dr Kill, who plays guitar in his spare time, commented wryly: “Scientists tend to be more aware of the arts, than artists are of the sciences.“

Dr George Ghinea, a computer scientist, of Lymington Drive, Ruislip, who works in a team from the School of Information Systems, Computing and Mathematics; Health Sciences and Social Care, and Northwick Park Hospital, is showing a computer model, “Pain Drawing Visualisation“ used, principally, to diagnose back pain.

“The computer model is highly visual and stimulating. It's a bit surreal, not something one usually associates with clinical work,“ explained Dr Ghinea, who admits to having been a writer of novellas when he was “young and idealistic.“

Psychologist Dr William Brown, who lives in Myddleton Road, Uxbridge, who went to art school before switching to a science vocation, is exhibiting photographs of an animation using computer simulated dance movements.

“Fearful symmetry“ was used in an experiment to test people's assessment of the human body sexual attractiveness and success. “The stills are aesthetically pleasing,“ he said.

Dr Ivan Reid, a research fellow in the school of Engineering and Design, is exhibiting a “control room“ featuring a major particle physics project at CERN in Switzerland, in which Brunel University, among 180 institutions is involved. The display is interactive and includes a live internet link.

“It will be visually exciting and colourful,“ said Dr Reid.

Other exhibits include silversmithing work designed by Dr Sarah Silve, using lasers: a completely new tool that can be used in applied arts. “Moving Forward“ also includes work by staff at the Brunel Arts, including prints, ceramics and sculpture.

Curator Alan Bennett said: “The exhibition is part of the 2006 anniverary celebrations, marking the bicentenary of Isambard Kingdom Brunel. It's a link between what's going on now and in the future.“

Moving Forward: Science, Engineering and Art
Beldam Gallery, Brunel University (Wilfred Brown Building)
Cleveland Road, Uxbridge, UB8 3PH
Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 5.30pm (closed Bank Holidays)
Enquiries Brunel University Brunel Arts
Tel: 01895-266074
E.mail: artscentre@brunel.ac.uk
Map and further information: www.brunel.ac.uk