Art and the atom meet in new exhibition

  • 15/08/2010

By Juliet Speedy

A new exhibition in Christchurch mixes art with the atom in an effort to explain nanotechnology.

Nanotechnology is a rapidly expanding science and both the scientists and the artists hope this exhibition will make it more accessible to the public.

Nanotechnology is all about making extremely small things, so small that they are measured in nanometres, and one nanometre is one billionth of a metre.

“So a human hair is about a hundred thousand nanometres thick; so when you're working with nanotechnology you're working with things that are just a few atoms in size,” exhibition coordinator Simon Brown says.

Nanotechnology has hundreds of uses in consumer products; making sunscreen clearer, tennis racquets stronger and jeans more stain resistant.

The exhibition is a showcase of the small atoms; a combination of the work of local artists and nanotechnology scientists who provided photos of their research.

“We get very excited about the things that we make and it's great to be able to share some of these images and a lot of the images that go into work like this are perhaps experiments that didn't go so well, but they end up looking very interesting,” science PhD student David Garrett says.

Artist Robyn Webster says she loves the synergy created by art and science.

“I love scientific ideas in terms of, at the metaphysics level, because I think that's where science and art and poetry and religion all meet,” she says.

Webster's work shows the idea of the artificial and the natural meeting within a single cell.

“Perhaps art can make science visible; you know the ideas of science visible in a way that science can't do itself because it's too complex.”

The exhibition is on for a month in Christchurch.

3 News

source: newshub archive