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A Star in Our Midst!

What a fabulous start to 2022 when renowned artist, Lisa Pettibone, the ArtScientific Collective’s first guest speaker, wowed over twenty-five students with her brilliant presentation on 9th January.

Lisa was a totally engaging presence and had us enthralled as she told us about her background, her Central Saint Martins’ M.A. in Art and Science, the science, technology, physics learning which has influenced and shaped her art, and her numerous projects and residencies including at Cern, with The Lumen Collective, The Moon Village Association and the Mullard Space Science Laboratory’s Moon Project. It was fascinating - indeed mind-blowing - to learn that her poignantly tiny and intricate sculpture Verdant is being launched in February 2022, along with other artworks, and travelling to the International Space Station as part of the Moon Gallery Foundation’s aim to establish a gallery on the moon by 2025.

In generous detail, Lisa explained her ideas and processes, her use of a wide range of mediums and materials including glass, plastics, silicon wafers, cyanotype, photography, textiles, stressing the importance of being open to materials. Lisa also gave insight into her particular interests: gravity, space, matter, light and helpfully referenced specific authors and books from philosophy to physics which have fed into her thinking. Perception, she told us, is crucial, is at the heart of her art-making, how we think about the world. We ‘see’, she said, before we ‘analyse’, we look at the stars and get a sense of ourselves. All meaty stuff for visual art students in terms of reflecting not only on what we make but the how and the why we make.

Most enlightening was hearing about how Lisa deals with the science, translating and distilling complex ideas into simple, accessible art-forms - a point which students found especially useful and directly relevant to their own practice and concerns.

Lisa’s open, personable and wholly approachable manner encouraged lively discussion and a rich twenty minute Q&A session - 100% positive feedback came flooding in within hours of the event!

Here’s the link to the recording of the session:

It’s well-worth revisiting if you attended and it’s a ‘must-see’ for all students in general: an excellent example of supremely professional presentation.

P.s. A lovely image pops up in my mind as I write this: Lisa, as a child, lying on the grass in her native Canada, gazing up at the stars for hours in total fascination (she said) - the seeds of her incredible art already silently, quietly being sown.

(With thanks to Joanne Mulvihill-Allen and the OCA Student Association for helping to make this event possible and to ArtScientific co-anchor, Steve Meyfroidt, for admin and tech support.)

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