Lucy Lyons (UK) + Marta de Menezes (Portugal)
Marta de Menezes
Drawing: Between Art and Science
Lucy Lyons is an Artist and Researcher based in London. At the heart of her research is the notion that new understanding can be achieved through the activity of drawing. Her PhD, Delineating Disease, involved spending five years exploring a system of drawing called delineation. Drawing is seen as a phenomenological activity that requires direct close observation of an object. It is immediate and precise and involves the portrayal of the specificity of unique visual experiences as opposed to generic archetypes. The role of drawing is seen as one that communicates insight and engenders new revelations in its audience. Her PhD research was set in the field of pathology and focused on a very rare, congenital disease called Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva (FOP).
Marta de Menezes is an Artist researcher based in Lisbon. Her research focuses on the practice, production and more recently, on the developing of projects of contemporary art in the area of scientific biological research. Marta believes that scientific knowledge and research are exciting fields for artists to explore as a new media for artistic expression. Her work involves a long and intensive process of research side by side with scientists through which collaboration develops into works of art. Marta has been developing works in biology laboratories for the past 10 years, has been principal artist in residency at the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciencia from 2005 and started a PhD in 2008 at the University of Leiden in the Centre for Arts and Genomics.
The project DRAWING: BETWEEN ART AND SCIENCE will develop during 3 weeks in May when Marta and Lucy will take daily visits to the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciencia with their drawing material and spend 5 mornings in each group/subject deepening their understanding of the scientific research and drawing different experiences in the laboratories. Working in collaboration with the scientists the ongoing work produced during the residency will be encouraged to develop freely allowing dialogue between scientist and artist to flourish. Artworks created aim to reflect the input from the scientific research being undertaken and reveal the connections made between all those working on the project.
The subject areas being investigated will be:
Cell Division and Development
Bacteria and microbiology
In the afternoons the exhibition space in the Fabrica Braco de Prata will be used as an open studio where they will develop work made in the laboratories. Here, the public and visitors can come and contribute their ideas to the artists.
Lucy sees the drawing process in this instance as crucially involving the use of scientific equipment, in this case a microscope, through which the visual experience of object is mediated rather than involving the direct observation of the object - a system of mapping. It is this system of mapping that Lucy and Marta are interested in pursuing in the residency, basing the fieldwork in the project space in Lisbon and within the critical framework of discussion with other artists, researchers and visiting members of the public.
Marta feels it is very important to discover with her guest artists a mode of responding together to the scientific work; her main objective in this project is to expand the microscopy drawing work to the whole set up in the laboratory, and examine drawing as a way to explore experiences of biological material by creating dialogues within the context of the environment.
Both will be using the gallery space as the laboratory and the laboratory as studio, creating a span of works that will allow a new understanding of this artistic research field as an art piece. This intends to reveal the importance of drawing as an investigative tool, and also the depth of involvement and the experimentation of the artists in making and producing a work of art.
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