The PowerPoint slides used for the Portsmouth visit are included below. ~James
I think it might take me a little while to prepare a detailed blog entry that would do yesterday's visit justice. However, in the mean time, I thought it would be worth me blogging here the formal feedback from the TAG members. In their information packs, there was a form to provide written feedback about their thoughts on the day. Specifically, there were 2 questions (I didn't want to over-burden!):
Q1) What did you learn today? and Q2) How was today important for you/how did it inspire you?
Here are the responses:
Q1. The different shapes and patterns that hair creates.
Q2. It help me to think of different ways shapes can work together.
Q1. I understand a lot more about the images we saw before and how the cuticles relate to each other.
Q2. Still a bit unsure about how I am going forward!
(Mine was the dodgy sample! - do you want more?)
Q1. Will take time to assimilate. Good to know more about aim of project and discussion interesting.
Q2. Will find out when I sit down to draw etc.
Q1. That there is a lot more to be learnt about hair than one imagines!
Q2. It was interesting to learn about the structure and what happens to it. Not sure I can apply art to it, but will try. I wonder how age affects what happens to it?
(Thanks, James, you made it interesting)
Q1. What the project is about!!
Q2. Very important, need to go away and do some thinking!!
Q2. Look at DNA - strands, connect sticks, how DNA twists.
I think that getting across the overall aim of the project has been generally quite difficult, i.e., the "not sure what we are supposed to do" questions kept popping up. I set out to deliberately to keep this a bit vague as I didn't necessarily want the artists to reproduce AFM images per se using various paint media etc, but to reflect upon the micrographs and for them to respond in a way that says something about their own identity inspired by the microscale images. I explained this a bit more fully during the session, especially near the end when gathered around the microscope after most of the feedback forms had been completed. I mentioned that I could imagine an artwork that might not look much like an AFM image, but some descriptive text along side the exhibit would reveal an insight/thought process with reference to the microworld. Lynda and Jacqui S provided some helpful examples, which will be blogged about in due course. I was left with the impression that most people were "getting it", albeit they would need to do more thinking. Not a bad thing. ~James
Meeting held with artists Jacqui Lea, Jacqui Smith, Sandie Schulkins, Lynda Owen-Hussey and myself to discuss the project. The main purpose was to show the artists the second set of AFM images and talk through the science. As with the Thornhill Art Group (TAG) last December, everyone seemed very interested and keen to share their ideas. Still early days, but all very exciting. Sounds as if the microscopy suite visit (TAG and Team members) may happen on the Tuesday or Wednesday of Easter week (to be confirmed). ~James
First visit to Thornhill Art Group in Southampton. Talked about the project and shared various AFM images of hair and DNA that stimulated lots of interesting discussions. Questions such as 'Do cuticles flap about or are they stuck down? Do grey hairs look different? What about curly hair? ~James