There was an overwhelming positive reaction to the free public ENLIGHTENMENT exhibition, which launched at the dovecot studios in Edinburgh last night (Monday 8 March). People were genuinely taken by surprise at the diversity, creativity and sheer beauty of the images inspired by the world class scientific research being conducted within the Scottish Research Institutes forming the knowledgescotland partnership. This was an authentic partnership between the Arts and Science evocative of the ENLIGHTENMENT period in history.
Over 150 guests attended the launch party including government officials, scientists, artists, teachers, writers, poets and school children. The atmosphere contained a real buzz of excitement as people discussed the images and the science stories that inspired them. The dovecot gallery was the perfect setting for the exhibition which allowed the display of very large scale photographs, highlighting the colours, textures and the multilayered themes within the images.
The exhibition features the work of Scottish photographer David McIntyre. Mr McIntyre spent time with researchers throughout Scotland discussing their research before using the medium of photography to create graphic and abstract images inspired by the science. There are 30 images being displayed in the exhibition with accompanying text and it is hoped that the images will draw people to the caption to find out more about the science that inspired the image.
ENLIGHTENMENT will be on display at the dovecot studios between 9th and 27th March. The gallery is open from Tuesday to Saturday 10.30am-5.30pm and admission is free. After exhibiting at the dovecot studios ENLIGHTENMENT will be displayed at the Royal Botanic Gardens of Edinburgh and various other venues throughout Scotland.
David McIntyre was delighted to be involved with this project. He commented: “I wanted to produce images that would act as signifies to the stories behind the research. Some images are quite abstract in nature and show multilayered themes, while others involve a single bold concept. All are related to the scientific story that inspired them and I hope they may invite curiosity, provoke interest and lend themselves to imaginative interpretation.”
Dr Elisabeth Innes, Director of Communication at Moredun Research Institute co-ordinated this project. She said: “Science can help us find solutions to many of the major issues we currently face including climate change, developing sustainable energy sources and combating infectious disease. It is really important that as many people as possible engage in how we can use science to improve the quality of our lives and others around the world. We hope that this exhibition will spark curiosity and debate about scientific discovery and its relevance to our everyday lives.”
Environment Minister Roseanna Cunningham said: “Science contributes a huge amount to our environment, health and society but not everyone is aware of its impact on our everyday lives. This project is a creative way of bringing science to the public and I hope the exhibition will be thought-provoking and raise awareness of the high calibre research being carried out by Scottish Scientists and supported by Government.”
" Right on target, in the interspace between Art and Science in the spirit of the Enlightenment" Richard Demarco CBE
" A wonderful dialogue between the aesthetic, the scientific and the unexpected. Congratulations." John Hume RCAHMS
“This exhibition provides a thought-provoking and visually-attractive take on the research done by scientists across Scotland, carefully avoiding the literal portrayal of science fact, and helping to engage the public with their work.” Colin Robertson, NEXXUS Scotland
" Well done! More diverse stylistically than I ever would have imagined" Craig Wood, London
" I am really impressed with the engagement with the ideas and with the range of imagary, the sheer quality! Well done." Chris McIntyre, Dean of Cultural Affairs, University of Hertfordshire
" Thank you, such a privilege to share the beauty of the Enlightenment" Sylvia Dick, Poet
“ Absolutely wonderful, I would like to commission this to take to Prague” Dr Paul Millar, Czech Consulate
“ Really excellent, a lasting testimony to the world of the Scottish Institutes” George Marshall, Vice Principal SAC
“ Fantastic, loved the creativity” Lou Kiddier, Greenroom films.
“This exhibition allows people with a non scientific background to understand and appreciate the importance of science to our everyday lives...when is it coming to Aberdeen?” Dorothy Sim, Aberdeen.
“ I liked the way you were not sure what the image was all about and then when you read the caption you would look at the image again and see something else” Poppy Mulligan (14) , George Heriots School