Plant biologist Enrico Coen and artist Robert Kesseler join John O’Shea, Head of Programming at Science Gallery London, to discuss their longstanding collaboration that explores the convergence between art and biology.
Recent advances in our understanding of how plants reproduce demonstrate the links between making art and making plant life. Much as a work of art may engage a human, plants create intricate shapes, such as those of an orchid flower or pitcher leaf, in order to lure animals.
Over the past decade, Enrico Coen FRS and Rob Kesseler have been working together to explore the interface between science and art. Coen, a research professor at the John Innes Centre (an international centre of excellence in plant science, genetics and microbiology in Norwich) has been showing how groups of cells in microscopic buds achieve such diverse leaf and flower shapes. Kesseler, an artist and professor at Central Saint Martins in London, works from a microscopic examination of plant forms to create artworks in glass, ceramic and textiles.
Coen and Kesseler will discuss their approaches to making, and how their collaboration has led to the creation of new forms that draw on both science and art.
Due to unforeseen circumstances Munira Mirza, Executive Director of Science Gallery London is no longer able to chair this event and has been replaced by John O’Shea, Head of Programming at Science Gallery London.
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This is the second talk in the ‘When science meets art’ series of events, organised in partnership between the Royal Academy of Arts and the Royal Society. The series seeks to explore how emerging technologies can drive artistic practice, how art can develop new approaches to scientific problems, and what makes for a successful collaboration between the two disciplines.