‘The Msrtyey of Eye Mnid Fncution’ a portrait of Dr. Brian Vohnsen by Emer O Boyle, part of the Artist-in-Residence scheme

Research students in the Science faculty will get a chance to make their mark on the development of the science block in the future thanks to a new artist-in-residence scheme. The scheme is an expansion of a successful collaborative project between UCD and NCAD called ‘Tunnelling Art and Physics’, now broadened to the entire faculty.

Applications closed on September 14th for UCD students, and Professor Lorraine Hanlon from the UCD School of Physics is pleased with the level of interest shown from students and academic staff of all scientific disciplines. “We’re hoping that they’re willing to explore new avenues … Often inspiration comes from an unexpected direction,” stated Hanlon.

The UCD College of Science has backed the scheme, and four artists will be allowed access to lectures, a shared studio space and a materials budget to bring the projects to completion. If suitable, the artwork may be displayed in UCD long-term, after building work is finished. The science contributors will have a chance to approach a scientific subject from a different perspective and Hanlon hopes that the resulting work “will bring ownership of the new building to the students, the scientists and the people who work there.”

In previous years this module was open to third years from NCAD and UCD. This year, due to the expansion of the scheme, professional artists are being offered the opportunity to work with UCD students on campus. The students’ participation is through a module for which five credits are earned.

The results of previous years’ work are now visible along the corridors of the physics buildings. Previous participants’ pieces were exhibited in the Temple Bar Gallery as part of Dublin City of Science 2012 and included works in video, sculpture, installation and painting.

When asked how long the idea to expand the scheme had been around Hanlon responded: “The idea hasn’t been in our heads for very long, but we have worked together for the last couple of years and we’re looking at ways to expand what we do together to a bigger pool of people as we felt there was a lot of interest and potential in it.”

While students chosen to participate are not expected to have any prior knowledge of any other discipline, it is a requirement that they listen to each other while sharing practical skills and their research. Hanlon said about the module and artist-in-residence scheme: “We’re hoping this is a way of livening-up and bringing new ideas in.”