Between October – December 2019, Scale Free Network presented an exhibition and ten-workshop series at Melton Library and Learning Hub, as part of their Arts & Culture Program.
ART FORMS IN NATURE – EXHIBITION
One of Scale Free Network’s heroes is Ernst Haeckel, a German artist and scientist who lived between 1834 and 1919. Many of the artworks in this exhibition were taken from Haeckel’s illustrated science book Artforms in Nature. Originally published in 1904, Haeckel’s work inspired a new generation of artists, jewellers, architects and designers to look more closely at the natural world, especially microscopic creatures and details. Ernst Haeckel is also representative of a time in history where the arts and sciences were not so separate as they are today. Another famous example is Leonardo da Vinci (1452 – 1519) who was not only an artist and a scientist but also an inventor, mathematician, engineer, botanist, musician and architect (among other things!).
The exhibition also included a number of collaboratively-made drawings made during Scale Free Network’s art-science workshops. Each artwork depicts a microscopic community or ecosystem and participants work from reference images for inspiration. Similar to listening to a lecture or looking at images, drawing can be a way to learn about a new topic. Drawing these tiny creatures by hand is a way to get to know them, their shapes and their relationships, and to imagine what life might be like from their perspective. Making a drawing together, as part of a group, offers an opportunity to discuss the new things you are seeing, to learn from each other, and to be curious together.
EXPLORING THE LIBRARY BIOME – ART/SCIENCE WORKSHOPS
This workshop series comprised two public workshops (adults + children), and eight school workshops (years 5/6 students). Using mini-field microscopes, we explored the hidden layers, textures, patterns and creatures of Melton Library at 60X magnification. These observations were then translated into drawings and incorporated into a large collaborative wall-piece featuring over 300 circular artworks.
Many thanks for Madeleine McClelland for inviting us to Melton Library & also to Nikki Ozbicerler who supported each workshop. Special mention to Daiana Voinescu who cut all the circles!