Transcending the Invisible revealing the hidden world of nanomaterials through art and science collaborations

Transcending the Invisible held a kick-off event on 3rd November 2023, setting the stage for a journey that promises to bridge the gap between art and science. The event, attended by our cohort of artists and scientists, served as a catalyst for collaboration, creativity, and innovation. It provided a platform for participants to introduce themselves, exchange ideas, and forge connections that would underpin their collaborative efforts in the coming months.

Transcending the Invisible is a ground-breaking project led by the Photonics & Nanotechnology Group at King’s College London. It is poised to reveal the hidden world of nanomaterials through the power of art and science collaboration. This initiative, funded by the Royal Society, aims to provide a fresh perspective on nanotechnology by making it accessible to the public.

The brainchild of Dr Sasha Rakovich, Dr Anastasiia Zaleska, Megan Grace-Hughes, and Grace Pappas, the project seeks to create meaningful connections between artists and scientists from the Photonics and Nanotechnology Group at King’s College London. These partnerships aim to demystify the invisible world of nanomaterials, bringing it into focus through artistic expression and innovative thinking.

Dr Sasha Rakovich, the project’s leader, expressed her excitement about this unique fusion of disciplines: “Transcending the Invisible is not just about sparking thought; it’s about igniting creativity and innovation. By combining the talents of artists and scientists, we hope to offer the public a tangible understanding of the fascinating world of nanomaterials.”

The project is split into two phases. In the first stage, the selected artists will embark on a journey to explore the world of nanotechnology with a tailor-made lecture series called ‘In Focus’ providing insights into the department’s ongoing research. These lectures will be delivered alongside presentations from the artist on the techniques and tools they use in their practice.

Additionally, artists will engage in one-on-one sessions with their paired scientists, allowing them to visit laboratories and immerse themselves in the scientific world.

Mentoring sessions with the organising team will provide continuous support and feedback to foster the artists’ and scientists’ development and growth.

The second phase of the project focuses on the creation of new artworks inspired by the scientists’ research. Brainstorming sessions between artists and scientists will lead to the development of these innovative pieces. Mentoring by the organising team will guide the artists through various aspects, including budgeting, timelines, exhibition contexts, and dissemination plans.

The culmination of the collaboration will be celebrated through a public-facing event, highlighting the exciting fusion of art and science.

Transcending the Invisible aligns with the Royal Society’s mission to promote public engagement in science and research. It exemplifies the definition of public engagement as a two-way process, aiming to generate mutual benefit by sharing the benefits of higher education and research with the public.

This ambitious project promises to unveil the world of nanomaterials in a novel and accessible way, ultimately enriching both the artists’ and scientists’ understanding of their respective fields and engaging the wider public in the wonders of nanotechnology.

You can find out more on the Transcending the Invisible website