Shropshire Star

Scientists and artists create live art based on groundbreaking research

The Great Exhibition Road Festival will see artists create paintings inspired by the work of Imperial College London scientists.

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Artist Lily Mixe creating artwork at last year’s Paint Lab

Working with artists to create paintings based on research is a “great opportunity” to engage the public in the work of scientists, an expert has said.

Later this month 10 artists will take part in a series of live collaborations with 10 Imperial College London scientists, as part of the Great Exhibition Road Festival.

They will be pairing up to create the Paint Lab, a live art studio, with artwork inspired by latest research from Imperial, including stopping mosquitoes from spreading malaria, finding ancient life in space, and the therapeutic use of psychedelic drugs and the power of sleep.

Artist Maha Shami will create art inspired by the work of Dr Cristobal Rodero from Imperial’s National Heart and Lung Institute, whose accurate 3D computer models of human hearts could help doctors diagnose heart conditions or plan treatments.

Called Heartfelt Customisation, the artwork reflects Dr Rodero’s work on tailoring heart simulators to each individual, allowing for personalised testing.

The differently coloured people in the piece highlight how different people are.

Dr Rodero told the PA news agency: “I think it’s a great opportunity for the public to see what kind of research we do, even if it’s impossible to do a literal translation of a whole body of research into a painting.

“We think that it really helps with conversations, and then maybe they will start talking about it or they might have a relative, or some friend, or themselves, with some kind of condition and then they want to understand better what kind of research is being done.

“We will be there in the festival as well and they can come over and talk to us.”

The Great Exhibition Road Festival 2024, is organised by Imperial College London, and will take place in South Kensington, London from June 15 to June 16 between 12pm and 6pm.

This year’s festival celebrates how science and the arts help people, communities and nature to flourish, and will bring cutting-edge science, live art, new inventions, music, games and experiments to the public.

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