14th May 2021: Science Foundation Ireland has today announced the virtual exhibition opening of the SFI STEAM Art Collaboration, and the public are invited to attend this unique evening event. This new initiative aims to inspire and engage people with research through five commissioned artworks which unite the disciplines of art and science using STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths). These will be presented to the public at the opening, taking place virtually on the evening of the 20th May.

Artists Shevaun Doherty, Ed Devane, 1iing Heaney, Peter Nash and David Beattie have worked in close collaboration with researchers from five SFI Research Centres; APC Microbiome, CONNECT, iCRAG, Lero and FutureNeuro, to produce artworks which creatively interpret an array of scientific topics. The artworks are inspired by research on PCR testing, quantum communications, applied geosciences, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and neuroscience and are interpreted through a range of art mediums. Each of the five artworks are specific and unique to the artist and researchers involved and represent cutting-edge research through a creative lens.

The virtual exhibition opening will invite attendees to explore the collection and engage in a short series of In Conversation pieces with each team of artists and researchers to uncover the stories behind each artwork and to delve into the collaborative workings of each team. Attendees are further invited to explore the 3D virtual exhibition space which will remain open over the summer months. It promises to be an evening filled with insights into the fusion of research and art and the possibilities this presents.

Speaking about the exhibition, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD said: “I’m delighted to see this new collaboration between artists and researchers. This exhibition fuses art with science by exploring and interpreting a number of key scientific topics. I would encourage people to attend the virtual exhibition- this is a unique opportunity to engage with both the researchers and artists involved. I want to pay tribute to all involved; it is important that we work together to find new way to engage with research.”

Dr Ruth Freeman, Director of Science for Society, Science Foundation Ireland said: “This new collaboration provides the public with access to science in an engaging and educational environment, highlighting the many important connections between science and the arts. The five artists have interpreted their concepts in a variety of exciting ways which are informed by research but are not purely explanatory in nature. The aim of the initiative is to captivate and inspire people to learn more and I would like to congratulate all those involved in creating these works of art.”

The public virtual exhibition will run for three months from Thursday 20th May, with an evening exhibition opening taking place on this date from 7-9 p.m. An ISL Interpreter will be present for the duration of the event and registration for this event is available here.

Following the exhibition all five art pieces, the 3D exhibition space as well as further information on the projects and their associated resources will be available on our website here.

The project is funded under SFI’s Discover Primary Science and Maths programme, and in part by The Arts Council.