Category Archives: The Art of Science

Art of Science: Jessica Lloyd-Jones Sculpts the Body Electric

Jessica Lloyd-Jones, Optic Nerve  2008 - 2010.              Blown glass, xenon

Jessica Lloyd-Jones, Optic Nerve 2008 – 2010.
Blown glass, xenon

Welsh artist Jessica Lloyd-Jones describes her work as merging art, science and technology. All three are certainly present in her sculpture series Anatomical Neon, which she made from 2008-2010. Lloyd-Jones describes the works on her website:

“Blown glass human organs encapsulate inert gases displaying different colors under the influence of an electric current. The human anatomy is a complex, biological system in which energy plays a vital role. Brain Wave conveys neurological processing activity as a kinetic and sensory, physical phenomena through its display of moving electric plasma. Optic Nerve shows a similar effect, more akin to the blood vessels of the eye and with a front ‘lens’ magnifying the movement and the intensity of light. Heart is a representation of the human heart illuminated by still red neon gas. Electric Lungs is a more technically intricate structure with xenon gas spreading through its passage ways, communicating our human unawareness of the trace gases we inhale in our breathable atmosphere.”

Although these pieces are beautiful in photographs, they are much more amazing in motion, so I urge you to visit Lloyd-Jones’ website and see her short videos of the pieces as the chemical light flickers through the organs. (I mean, seriously, check out the Optic Nerve). These pieces give gorgeous, graphic life to the chemical impulses shooting through our bodies and powering our minds.

#SciArt Tweetstorm

Rainbow Microbes by Michele Banks

Rainbow Microbes by Michele Banks

The Grand Poobah’s of science art at the Symbiartic science art blog have declared 1-7 March to be the week of the science art tweetstrom using the hashtag #sciart.

Here at The Finch & Pea we currently have 181 “Art of Science” posts (well 182 now), or 30 per day for the the rest of the week. That should keep y’all busy.

Art of Science: Sonja Hinrichsen’s Snow Drawings


Snow Drawing, Briancon, France, 2014. Photo by Sonja Hinrichsen

Artists whose work engages with the environment often gather materials from nature – branches, dirt, soil or leaves. Sonja Hinrichsen’s art supplies simply drop from the sky. Hinrichsen creates beautiful, ephemeral artworks using snow.

Her Snow Drawings are a series of designs that are “walked into” pristine snow surfaces with snowshoes. Hinrichsen creates the design and a group of volunteers strap on snowshoes and make it. The artist then documents the work in photographs and video.

Hinrichsen says her Snow Drawings, which she has been making since 2009 in the US and Europe, “correspond with and accentuate the landscape, and I hope that they help arouse appreciation and consciousness for the natural world.”  She says she prefers to create immersive but ephemeral experiences rather than objects.

The drawing shown above was created in February 2014 in Briancon, in the Valley of Serre Chevalier, a skiing area in the French Alps. The piece was created over two days with the help of approximately 70 participants from the surrounding communities.

You can read more about these and other projects by Sonja Hinrichsen at her website.

Art of Science: Paper + Scissors = Rock


Mineral sculptures by Lydia Kasumi Shirreff, 2011

Mineral sculptures by Lydia Kasumi Shirreff

Lydia Kasumi Shirreff can create most anything out of paper.  The UK-based paper sculptor has turned flattened sheets of dead trees into eye-popping 3D models of plants, animals, building, and food, just to name a few. But my fave is the geology-inspired work she produced for a 2011 show called Animal, Vegetable, Mineral. Paper, scissors, meet rock.




Art of Science: Xavier Cortada explores Physics and Marine Biology

In search of the Higgs boson: H -> WW, digital art, 2013.

Xavier Cortada, In search of the Higgs boson: H -> WW, digital art, 2013.

Xavier Cortada is an artist whose interests spread across many areas of science. His works have included projects at both the North and South Poles, and his subjects have ranged from DNA nucleotides to subatomic particles. This month, Cortada’s work is on display in two very different exhibitions.

The first, at Chcago’s Fermilab Art Gallery, focuses on art as a means of education and outreach, and features artists who have collaborated closely with scientists. Cortada is showing five large “digital tapestries” that he created as a fellow at CERN that portray the five search strategies which the CMS (compact muon solenoid) experiment used to discover a new Higgs-like particle. The exhibition, which also features work by Michael Hoch, Peter Markowitz, and Lindsay Olson, is open through April 22.

In a completely different vein, Cortada and a group of botanical illustrators have teamed up to create an exhibition called In Deep with Diatoms on display at the Frost Art Museum at Miami’s Florida International University, though February 22. The artists used traditional watercolor techniques to explore the unique and complex beauty of diatoms, single-celled aquatic microorganisms.

If you can’t make it to either show, you can see more of Cortada’s work on his website.