Frank Davis Memorial Lecture: Art and Vision Science


Double Echo: Exploring the Resonance Between Art and Science

Courtauld Institute of Art

I will be giving the 5th and final lecture on Art and Vision Science at the Courtauld Institute of Art on December 3rd.

Art and Vision Science

 Double Echo: Exploring the Resonance Between Art and Science

Tuesday, 3 December 2013


17.30 – 18.30, Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre

Mushroom Cloud, 2010. Installation at Malga Costa
Chris Drury, Mushroom Cloud, 2010. Installation at Malga Costa – Arte Sella Italy – of over 3000 suspended dried mushroom pieces. © Chris Drury



Speaker(s): Chris Drury (artist, UK)


Ticket/entry details: Open to all, free admission

Organised by: Tim Satterthwaite and Dr Meredith A Brown

We never see nature as it is, we always see it through the veil of culture. Art and science are part of this culture, as two sides of the same coin. Chris Drury’s work seeks to connect the rational and emotional, through different means and materials, and in collaboration with scientists from many disciplines, as well as with small communities and indigenous peoples throughout the world – from Antarctica and outback Australia, to his own home town in Sussex. Science can inform and shape our world but a wordless art can move us in ways we cannot predict. For the final lecture in this series, Chris Drury explores the creative connections between art and science, in search of new ways to describe human experience and our relation to the natural world.

Chris Drury is often described as a land artist, but he finds the label too narrow to capture the range of his work. He collaborates with scientists and technicians from a broad spectrum of disciplines, using whatever visual means and materials best suit the situation. He has had many international solo exhibitions and has made environmental art works all over Europe, America and Australia. Many of these works are illustrated in land art survey books; his monograph Silent Spaces is published by Thames and Hudson. Recent projects involve residencies in Antarctica, South Africa and Australia. His work Carbon Sink in Wyoming sparked a worldwide furore about the burning of fossil fuels and the die-off of forests in the Rockies. He is currently working with a group of First Australians in Western Australia, on a project concerning the mining of uranium on their land.

The 2013 Frank Davis Memorial Lecture Series explores the intersection between art and vision science. More than fifty years after Gombrich’s pioneering Art and Illusion, the science of perception remains, for the most part, marginal to art historical practice, despite extraordinary recent advances in our understanding of the visual brain. In this series of five international lectures, leading vision scientists and art historians argue the case for a new engagement between art and science, in which scientific models of vision inform the theories and approaches of art history. The complex dynamics of perception, unlocked by contemporary vision science, contain implications for the study of art that are only now being realised.

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