Art vs Science

Jasmine Targett's exhibition

What do you get when a solar scientist, a cell biologist and an artist collaborate? An unusual multi-media exhibition.

The Similarity of Parallel Worlds, opening at Craft Victoria today as part of the Making Sense exhibition, is the result of Monash University Fine Arts student Jasmine Targett's collaboration with Dr Alina Donea from the Monash Centre for Astrophysics and Dr Judy Callaghan of Monash Micro Imaging as part of the artist's PhD project.

In the exhibition, Ms Targett explores the depiction of scientific data through an innovative use of glass with video installation. Through this combination of media Jasmine's work explores the scale and fragility of our environment.

"I found that when viewed through a microscope, a single cell can bear an unnerving similarity to the sun as seen through a solar telescope. I wanted to illustrate this in a thought provoking way," said Ms Targett. 

Dr Donea, in collaboration with the NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory, assisted Ms Targett in capturing video of the sun and Dr Callaghan helped by providing video of a cell recorded using a confocal microscope.

In the exhibition, both videos continuously looped, are viewed through adjacent handblown and sandblasted glass observation domes. Both Dr Donea and Dr Callaghan were impressed with the final results.

"Jasmine's work transports you to  the solar surface,  ready to watch the unsettled magnetic solar action," said Dr Donea.

"The collaboration between art and science allows a fusion of disciplines which allows us to present images and concepts in unique ways. Jasmine’s work exemplifies the importance of this by its beauty and relevance to scientific research and knowledge," said Dr Callaghan.

Following the success of her current work, Ms Targett believes there is more scope for collaborative art works between researchers and artists.

"This collaboration has opened up an ongoing relationship between the fine arts and science disciplines. I think there are exciting possibilities for future inter-disciplinary research projects to incorporate art into the communication of climate science."

To this end, Ms Targett and her exhibiting partner Debbie Symons have organised a research symposium which will specifically concentrate on Climate Change, the hole in the ozone layer and biodiversity in Antarctica.

"We hope the symposium will stimulate an open dialogue between Melbourne based Artists and Scientists. We want to construct a community for future collaborations, further enriching both disciplines."

Making Sense will run at Craft Victoria from 9 September to 15 October, 2011. The exhibition will officially open between 6pm and 8pm on Thursday 8 September.

Art and the Communication of Climate Science: Making Sense of how artists and scientists can collaborate on the question of the ozone hole and biodiversity in Antarctica will be held at Craft Victoria on Tuesday 20 September, from 6pm - 7pm.