When Art Meets Science

Words: Abi Goodman/ Images: Staff & Students from Textiles in Practice & Three Dimensional Design.

Tapping into Manchester’s Year of Science, 1st year BA (Hons) Textiles in Practice (TIP) students and BA (Hons) Three Dimensional Design (3D) students have been engaged on a Unit X project entitled ‘Art Meets Science’.

Textiles in Practice students have been working in groups to tackle a brief concerned with how science and technology have revolutionised the traditional approach to representing the body. Meanwhile Three Dimensional Design students have been exploring, interpreting and producing work that responds to an aspect of Mathematics. Be that a focus on a particular aspect e.g. the rim and circumference of a form, or a focus on other ideas around ratio, proportion, pattern, gravity, fluidity, or time.

Prior to undertaking this brief (which leads up to the Unit X public exhibition next week) students got to know each other earlier in the academic year through a workshop which explored art and mathematics. Students from both subjects worked together on making the Golden Section a tactile experience and exploring how to present mathematical equations.

In addition to lectures, seminars and the aforementioned collaborative workshop students also conducted relevant site visits including Manchester’s Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) to find inspiration. The students were able to go-behind-the-scenes and visit MOSI’s extensive archive.

We, at the blog, were fortunate to catch up with MOSI archivist, Ceri Forster to find a little bit more out about the collection. She had extracted three areas of interest for students to consider which included:

  • MOSI’s paper-making archive. MOSI has inherited the archive from the National Paper Museum which relates to paper companies across the UK. There are thousands of paper samples, an impressive collection of watermarks and even a paper dress!
  • The Patterson Zochonis Cousins collection. This was a trading company that dealt with textiles and also set up the manufacture of soap toiletries in Nigeria.
  • Material from coal-mining collections (including an archive inherited from Lancashire Coalmining museum).

For more images of the workshop and the group’s research take a look here!

We look forward to seeing the result of first year students’ explorations at next week’s Unit X exhibition from Thursday 12th to Saturday 14th of May at London Scottish House (on Mount Street, opposite Manchester Convention Centre).


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