WONDER {of Art & Science}

Wonder with Light, Artillery Project. Photograph ©James Robertshaw

Wonder. It’s at the heart of any artist’s brief: I wonder what happens when…

It’s the nervous excitement of getting ready to open a show: I wonder if anyone will turn up.

It’s the invitation every artist makes to you, the audience: to stop a while, enjoy, wonder… interrogate…unpack…respond.

It’s at the heart of every human enquiry.

Wonder and curiosity precipitate into questions which in turn inform experiments. The first findings are shared for constructive review, this scrutiny prompts new experiments, and the results can be illuminating. Both an artist and a scientist will be familiar with this process. So we’ve been increasingly perplexed by the conventional understanding that science or the arts are mutually exclusive disciplines. Or that one has more rigour than the other. We are reassured to find plenty of evidence to discredit this assumption in the work of our local creative community and take this to be a litmus test for contemporary art and science.

Our Idea Sparks Talks, in preparation for this festival, have examined the process of creative enquiry and experimentation into, for instance, neuro-plasticity or the phenomenon of light. In March, our immersive creative learning environment: Wonder with Light sparked earnest experimentation by learners from seven local schools, nurseries and colleges, and also in seven community sessions for local groups and families. It evoked irrepressible curiosity among all ages: from 3month olds to adults and brought the wow! of Wonder! to our wider networks.

So just as light slows through water droplets to reveal the spectacular colours in a rainbow, we invite you to slow down and make time to wonder with the art works on this year’s E17 Art Trail.

Robotic Sculpture. Artist: Graham Asker (Venue 178).
Robotic Sculpture. Artist: Graham Asker (Venue 178).
Photograph ©GL Martin (Venue no. 71).
Photograph ©GL Martin (Venue no. 71).
Trousseau Heartland ©Helen Stone (Venue 80).
Trousseau Heartland ©Helen Stone (Venue 80).

Newsletter Signup